Harper Lee's Novel: To Kill a Mockingbird

Good Essays
The themes of racism and innocence are explicit in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird. There are many examples of discrimination in the story where one’s innocence is lost. Arthur Radley is isolated in his own home because of the spread of false rumors. Racism causes Tom Robinson, a black man to lose his life, even though he is innocent. Those who support blacks are judged, like Atticus, Jem and Scout. How does discrimination affect those who are innocent? In the novel, a mockingbird represents innocence; it represents Atticus, Tom Robinson, and Arthur Radley. These characters are always criticised because of some kind of discrimination, whether it be rumors, their skin colour or their character, even though they are innocent. Through the characters of Atticus, Tom Robinson, and Arthur Radley, Harper Lee demonstrates that discrimination destroys those who are innocent, which leads to character judgement, loss of life and isolation.
Those who stand up for what is right are always being judged which has a negative effect on their lives. People always encourage others to stand up for their beliefs, but when someone does take a stand, they are judged. Individuals are often called harsh names, and judged even though they are innocent, just like Atticus. Mrs. Dubose is Atticus, Jem and Scout’s neighbour, who is very sick and is always insulting Atticus, who is supporting Tom Robinson in the court case. Mrs. Dubose insults Atticus by telling Jem and Scout, “Your father’s no better than the niggers and trash he works for” (Lee 135). Atticus defends Tom Robinson because he knows Tom is not guilty, he is innocent. However, because of this Atticus is called severe things like “nigger-lover” by many people, even though he is only st...

... middle of paper ...

... colour can be innocent. Because Atticus’s support for Tom Robinson, Atticus is always castigated, not only Atticus is judged, Jem and Scout are also reprimanded. Arthur Radley, a righteous, great human being who is also judged because of the false rumors that have spread like a disease, around the town of Maycomb. The rumors lead to a ghastly consequence of Arthur being quarantined in his home. Atticus, Tom Robinson, and Arthur Radley are those who are judged even when they are innocent, innocent mockingbirds. Miss. Maudies tells Jem and Scout, “Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird, (119).”

Works Cited

Lee, Harper. To kill a Mockingbird. New York: Grand Central, 1960. Print.
Get Access