The entire town turns against them saying that Atticus is a “nigger-lover.” Even Atticus’ family turned against them, which really hurts Scout, especially when her cousin Francis says “I guess it ain’t your fault if Uncle Atticus is a nigger-lover besides, but I’m here to tell you it certainly does mortify the rest of the family-” (Harper 91). Racism is a major theme in this story along with growing up. Throughout the story the reader sees how Scout and Jem are afraid of Boo Radley because they think he is a monster and try to tease him. Later in the novel they are no longer afraid of him and no longer interested in teasing him. Another example of their maturity is how they view people.
Shorty is the young black boy who gets beat by the white people and jokes about it. Richard hates Shorty because he accepts what Richard finds so disgusting. Richard goes over in his mind the different choices he can make to deal with the feelings he has. Richard does not want to “give in” and be a slave to the white people. He would never give in and become a slave because he has hated that idea since day one.
A prime example of ignorance is the character Harper Lee seemingly created to be a symbol of ignorance itself. Mayella Ewell is the eldest daughter of the Ewell family, nutorious for their disrespect for others and the law. When she and her father accuse a black man, Tom Robinson, of raping her, she is called to the witness stand. There, she displays her ignorance for the whole court to see. After refusing to answer Atticus's questions, she says, "Long... ... middle of paper ... ...Byrd based on the color of his skin, based on his ignorance of racial equality.
One point that is brought up in the book is understanding racism. This is an issue because Atticus as a white man is defending Tom Robinson a black man who is accused of raping a white woman named Mayella Violet Ewell, Bob Ewell daughter which as expected their white. If this was to take place in the north no one would really care, but they live in the south where people still believed in segregation from blacks, and for a black man to challenge a white man in court, meant that they would probably lose their case because of prejudice against their race and color. Also a white man defending a black man in court which was unheard of at th... ... middle of paper ... ...o Blacks and not get lynched by the town people. Keep in mind this is the 1930’s in the south where everyone is highly racist toward blacks so its unheard of a white man having an affair with a black woman so to live the life he wanted to live he had to pretend to be drunk.
(75). Clearly we can see that he has lots of respect to this county and for blacks. Atticus wants his children to ignore what everybody thinks on him about defending a negro. During a conversation between Jem and Atticus, tells jem,” As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, whenever a white man does that to a black man, that white man is a trash.” (223). At the court Atticus is sure that he will lose but want to make a statement to this racist society.
Furthermore, it is obvious Bob Ewell is abusive to his daughter, Mayella, and that he is the one who violated her, not Tom Robinson (p.178). Since there is such hypocrisy in Maycomb, there are excuses made for whites. The jury probably thinks that if they pronounce Tom innocent the citizens will mock them as they do to Atticus. Harper Lee uses hypocrisy to show how the people of Maycomb are so engulfed in a variety of elements that they unknowingly complete acts of unjustified discrimination. Racism is wrought within the whole story.
Scout is taunted by “ Cecil say you defended niggers? He made it sound like you were runnin‘ a still” and “drew a bead on him, remembered what Atticus had said, then dropped my fists and walked away...it was the first time I had walked away from a fight”. Scout has trouble coming to terms with the violence that she is experiencing from other kids her age because of how racist, they are against African Americans that they target Scout even though it is her father not her defending Tom Robinson in the case. Nevertheless, the consequences of racism play out accordingly in this scene, proving the theme that the effects of bigotry can even affect innocent kids who are taught to hate others simply because of their parents’ beliefs, this bigotry then leads to violence against others who may not even be directly involved in the case. Scout notices “a familiar face, and at the center of the semi-circle, I found one” (153) in Mr. Cunningham.
When a black man in Maycomb is accused of rape, the town thinks he is guilty; there is no physical evidence that a rape ever occurred, but Tom is still sent to jail to wait for his trial. Racism towards Tom Robinson in Maycomb county causes disputes on his case, and causes talk to go around about the man who is defending him, Atticus Finch. To begin with, Jem and Scout’s father, Atticus, was Tom Robinson’s lawyer. Since Atticus was white and defending a black man, some of Atticus’s friends and neighbors turned against him and his family. Jem and Scout were treated with disrespect by Maycomb citizens everywhere they went because of their father’s decision to defend Tom.
Atticus is stereotyped as a traitor to his people, the white race, because he stands up for a black man, Tom Robinson, who is accused of raping a young woman. Last but not least, Tom Robinson is stereotyped as being a flaw in the human race because he is black. When he is accused of committing a rape, he is not given a fair tr...
The overwhelming amount of prejudice present in the South during this period ensured an unfair outcome in the trial of Tom Robinson. Coming in with prejudices and stereotypes meant that the actual trial showed little to no purpose; the jury had already made their decision as to the guilt of Tom. Such a system as this takes people’s fears and biases and fashions weapons to slaughter the accused. Despite his own awareness, Judge John Taylor watches helplessly as the jury convicts an innocent man. Racism becomes judge, jury, and executioner for both Atticus and Tom as well, foiling Atticus’ chances at freeing Tom and Tom’s own chances at returning home to his family.