Racist Attitudes in Maycomb in To Kill a Mockingbird

Racist Attitudes in Maycomb in To Kill a Mockingbird

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To what extent were the racist attitudes in Maycomb transformed by the
Robinson trial? This book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, was
published in 1960 a.

To Kill a Mockingbird

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To what extent were the racist attitudes in Maycomb transformed by the
Robinson trial?

This book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee, was published in 1960
and was about the bringing up of two children in a world without a
mother and living in a fictional place where whites hated blacks in
Maycomb, Alabama. The novel points out the shocking consequence of
being black, i.e. not being able to school, forced to go to different
churches. Some black people worked as domestic servants or had poorly
paid jobs and the worst thing that happened was that if they were
charged for doing something to a white person and it was false chances
were that the court would find the black person guilty over the white
person. After the trial racism still existed but there wasn’t as much
as there was in the beginning.

Before Tom Robinson’s trial there is a lot of racism towards the
blacks. Whites are given more rights than the blacks because they can
get successful jobs and can make black peoples’ lives misery by lying
in court under oath about serious matters which can end up getting the
black person killed. The people around Maycomb use a common word for a
black person which is nigger. Scout does not understand about racism
so she calls someone a nigger instead of a Negro because that what
they say in school and in the neighbourhood but doesn’t understand why
it is wrong. Scout also doesn’t understand about her father’s job,
which was being a lawyer and that some people disagree with him
defending the blacks and after Scout learns why she shouldn’t call
black people niggers she was angry with Cecil Jacobs for saying that
Atticus was defending niggers. Racism towards the whites is shown in
the second part of the novel when Calpurnia Bring Scout and Jem to the
church for black people, where Calpurnia’s friend Lula asks Calpurnia
why she brought the children “I wants to know why you bringing white
chillun to nigger church.” Towards the middle of the novel, Scout
thinks that black peoples houses are warm, “neat and snug with pale
smoke rising from their chimneys…” also “delicious smells about:
chicken, bacon…” This shows that she understands that she knows that
the negros are just normal people like herself and that she respects
them and what they do. In this book I have noticed that there are is

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an exception for black people which is Calpurnia who is black working
in a white household which is Atticus’ family.

During the Robinson trial there is still a lot of racism but some
people begin to realize why it is wrong. During the trial Mr Ewell is
rude to Tom Robinson in how he speaks to and about him “I seen that
black nigger yonder…”This clearly proves that Mr Ewell has no respect
for Tom Robison or the blacks which is why he continues to be racist.

After the Robinson trial, the racism went down a lot but the Ewell’s
still thought of them as trash. Towards the end of the trial Jem and
Scout begin to realise that blacks are exactly the same as whites
apart from their colour but the only exceptions are “White Trash” like
the Ewells. After the trial racism went down because the white people
began to understand what Atticus Finch did for Tom Robinson for and
why and most of the people who went to the trial respected him for
that and they also believed that Tom was innocent which would of
helped if they were on the jury so that he wouldn’t have died. After
the trial Bob Ewell shouts in Atticus’ face for defending Tom Robinson
and accusing him for hurting Mayella and it was Tom who did it.
Atticus just took the abuse and didn’t retaliate.

Harper Lee shows us in this novel that one event can change peoples
opinions dramatically. Before the trial people didn’t realize what
they were saying were hurting the black people but for a major event
which was the Robinson trial to show the people of Maycomb their wrong
doings, but it still shows how the whites choose whites over blacks in
the trial which shows that there still was a bit of racism. I believe
that what Lee is trying to put through to us in this novel is that
racism is still around where ever we go and chances are is that it
will stay with us for many years to come.
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