The Evils of Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird is inspired by the events that occurred during Harper Lee’s childhood. The setting in her novel is an allusion to her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama around the time of the Scottsboro Boys Trials. In this novel, Lee illustrates the evils of racism to communicate the theme that everyone should be treated equally, not by the color of the person’s skin. In the case with Tom Robinson, Lee demonstrates “that southern justice for blacks was different from southern justice for whites” (May 4). Tom is convicted of raping Mayella Ewell, a white woman. Throughout the trial, there is evidence to support Tom’s innocence, but because he is black, he is convicted anyway. This is a historical allusion to the trials that occurred in and around Scottsboro, Alabama, where nine black men were accused of raping two white women. Retrials occurred and, even with lack of proper evidence, all nine were convicted because of their skin color. Scout has to face “the realities of southern society within the same age span that Harper Lee faced Scottsboro” (May 4). Ama Lee, Harper Lee’s father, was a man of honor that was related to the famous soldier Robert E. Lee, and likely pushed the attitudes of family pride and the cruelty of southern prejudice on to Harper. Lee demonstrates the teachings that Atticus gave Scout and Jem as a reference to the teachings that Lee’s father told Harper as a child. As Lee was growing up, she learned of the trials that were occurring, and realized that it was unfair that the black men were convicted of a crime that had little, if any, evidence. To a child, a mother or father is ‘all-knowing’ and therefore ask their parent(s) about anything that they do no... ... middle of paper ... ...February 2012 Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1960. Print. May, Jill. "In Defense of To Kill a Mockingbird."EXPLORING Novels. Detroit: Gale Power Search. Web. 14 February 2012 Smykowski, Adam. “Symbolism and Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird.” Readings on To Kill a Mockingbird. Ed.Terry O’Neill. San Diego, Calif.: Greenhaven Press, 2000. 52-56. Literature Resource Center. Web. 8 February 2012 Tavernier-Courbin, Jacquelin. “Humor and Humanity in To Kill a Mockingbird.” On Harper Lee: Essays and Reflections. Ed.Alice Hall Petry. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee. Literature Research Center. Web.10 February 2012 Zaidman, Laura M. "Harper Lee: Overview." Twentieth-Century Young Adult Writers. Ed. Laura Standley Berger. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. Twentieth-Century Writers Series. Literature Resource Center. Web. 13 February 2012
Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960, is a novel which explores the theme of challenging racial prejudice. Within this novel, Lee has portrayed unintentional racial prejudice through the characters Atticus Finch, Link Deas and Scout Finch. With these characters, and their roles in exploring the theme of racial prejudice, Harper Lee has set unintentional boundaries for readers, as result, racial prejudicial thinking from contemporary perspective, in comparison to historical views, is challenged to a small extent.
Sometimes, people discriminate one thing, but strongly oppose the discrimination of another thing. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, this issue is very much expressed throughout the story. This thought-provoking story takes place in Maycomb, Alabama during a time when there’s a rape trial against a falsely accused African American named Tom Robinson. There is also a discrimination, of sorts, towards a man named Boo Radley, by three young children named Jeremy “Jem” Finch, Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, and Charles “Dill” Baker Harris. Both Boo Radley and Tom Robinson are similar in their own ways through their inherent goodness.
Racism was an important aspect in To Kill A Mockingbird. This novel "appeared at a time when racial tensions were reaching heated proportions in Alabama and the rest of the south"
'To Kill a Mockingbird' is a novel that was written in the 1960s, but Harper Lee decided to set the novel in the Depression era of the 1930s in a small town in Alabama. Lee provided her readers with a historical background for the affairs of that time and in doing so she exposed the deeply entrenched history of the civil rights in South America. Like the main characters in this novel, Lee grew up in Alabama; this made it easier for her to relate to the characters in the novel as she would have understood what they would have experienced during the period when racism, discrimination and inequality was on the increase within the American society.
Harper Lee’s only book, To Kill a Mockingbird, is the stereotypical tale of childhood and innocence, yet it successfully incorporates mature themes, like the racism in the South at the time, to create a masterpiece of a work that has enraptured people’s minds and hearts for generations. According to esteemed novelist Wally Lamb, “It was the first time in my life that a book had sort of captured me. That was exciting; I didn’t realize that literature could do that” (111). Scout’s witty narration and brash actions make her the kind of heroine you can’t help but root for, and the events that take place in Maycomb County are small-scale versions of the dilemmas that face our world today. Mockingbird is a fantastically written novel that belongs on the shelves for classic literature that everyone should take the time to read and appreciate for their execution of style and the importance of their content.
The theme of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mocking Bird is the existence of racism and prejudice in the 1930 – 40's. Harper Lee succeeds in presenting the topic in a manner that is not overly simplistic and thus achieves the task of allowing the reader to fully appreciate the complex nature of unjust discrimination. Harper Lee's inclusion of characters such as Tom Robinson, Boo Radley, Dolphus Raymond and many others, aid the reader to grasp the concept of racism and its central role in the town of Maycomb.
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee's only novel, is a fictional story of racial oppression, set in Maycomb, A.L. in 1925 to 1935, loosely based on the events of the Scottsboro trials. Unlike the story however, the racial discrimination and oppression in the novel very accurately portrays what it was like in the 1920's and 1930's in the south. Tom Robinson, the black man accused of raping a poor low class white girl of 19, never stood a chance of getting a fair trial. This can be supported by giving examples of racially discriminatory and oppressive events that actually took place in the south during the time period in which the novel is based. In addition to actual historical events, events and examples from the book that clearly illustrate the overpoweringly high levels of prejudice that were intertwined in the everyday thinking of the majority of the characters in the book supports the fact that Tom Robinson never stood a chance of getting a fair trial.
Racism is a problem that has been around for multiple centuries. In To Kill a Mockingbird it demonstrates how racism can affect one person even in the court of law. In this story, the case of Tom Robinson is told. It is obvious that Robinson is a victim of racist people that see him guilty only because of his race, African American. From the beginning, it seems obvious that Robinson does not have a chance in winning his case whether he is guilty or not. To the people, they hear the story from a white family, and in this time white people’s words are better than African Americans’, whether it is right or wrong. In this story, a white family sets out to help Tom Robinson. This is not a common event to happen
...tional stage with the Scottsboro trials, which became the inspiration for Harper Lee’s burning expeditionary work of fiction, To Kill a Mockingbird, in which she employs a tone critical of racism. The two cases, fictional and real, shared many stunning similarities, such as the preservation of southern womanhood and police brutality, as well as minor differences such as the attitudes of the accusers. The great tragedy of both cases is best exemplified by Atticus Finch’s declaration that “this case should never have come to trial. This case is as simple as black and white” (Lee 271).
Harper Lee sheds light upon the controversy of racism and justice in his classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. The notion of equality in accordance to the law and the pursuit of justice are hindered by racial discrimination. The essential essence of human nature is pondered. Are we inclined to be good or in the wrath of evil? The novel reflects on the contrasting nature of appearance versus reality.
The novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is set in Alabama in the 1930s, and concerns itself primarily with the interrelated themes of prejudice and empathy. These themes are explored as the story follows Scout Finch as she learns lessons in empathy, ultimately rejecting prejudice. While all characters in Lee’s novel learn from their experiences, not all are able to grow in the same manner as Scout. The idea of a positive role model, typified by the character of Atticus Finch, and the ramifications of its absence, is a concept that Lee places much emphasis on. The isolated setting is also pivotal in the development of characters. Lee uses the contrast between characters that learn lessons in empathy and compassion, and characters that cling to the ideals of a small town, to explore factors that nurture or diminish prejudice.
One of the major events in Harper Lee’s award-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird is Tom Robinson’s trial. It is based on the Scottsboro Case that took place in 1931 in Alabama, in which several black men were accused of raping two white women. Both the Scottsboro Boys and Tom Robinson are unfairly judged, however, because of prejudice against colored people. The racial discrimination makes whites’ testimony more believable even when it contradicts itself. The same happens in To Kill a Mockingbird. As we delve deeper into the case and get increasingly closer to the truth, it is quite suprising to see that Mayella Ewell is the true villain rather than a victim. She shall and must bear full responsibility for her actions because she makes the decision to tempt Tom Robinson, gives false testimony in court that directly leads to Tom’s death, and has been well aware of the consequences of her behaviors.