Racism in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Racism in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Length: 891 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Racism in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

"Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a
Negro comes up is something I don't pretend to understand" [1]

This is Maycomb's usual disease; the disease is prejudice, which
includes racism sexism, difference in class, piety and other
prejudiced opinions formed in the small county of Maycomb. In Harper
Lee's Novel racism is described through the eyes of a nine-year old
girl Scout, which still has not been affected by the disease that is
overcoming the town. This disease is being semi-con fronted through
the bravery of and honesty of very few people in the in Maycomb. These
confrontations are not very successful due to the cowardliness of the
people to stand up and say what they believe in. the people of Maycomb
have grown with such prejudiced beliefs and are not willing to change
or accept any other opinion. In my essay I am going to write about the
very few people who are willing to change and fight this disease, the
people I am going to write about are, Judge Taylor, the sympathetic
art of the Cunningham family, Dolphus Raymond's dishonesty, and
finally Atticus's bravery in confronting the disease.

Throughout her novel, there are many examples of racism and the
opinion of the diseased population of the county. In the novel Judge
Taylor's character is introduced, he is the judge of the court during
Tom Robinson trial although he seems to be sleeping all the time; he
is very wise and intelligent. Judge Taylor's character is introduced
to be a neutral character in the novel he is neither biased nor
prejudice to any certain race.

"Did it ever strike you that Judge Taylor naming Atticus to defend
that boy was no accident? That Judge Taylor might have had his reasons
for naming him?" [2]

Judge Taylor is wise enough to appoint Atticus to Tom Robinson's case,
because he is intelligent enough to know that if he appointed an other
public lawyer Tom's case would have surely be a loosing one, he also

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Racism in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Aug 2018
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=139289>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Racism in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee Essay

- Racism in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up is something I don't pretend to understand" [1] This is Maycomb's usual disease; the disease is prejudice, which includes racism sexism, difference in class, piety and other prejudiced opinions formed in the small county of Maycomb. In Harper Lee's Novel racism is described through the eyes of a nine-year old girl Scout, which still has not been affected by the disease that is overcoming the town....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird Essays]

Free Essays
891 words (2.5 pages)

Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Essay

- Racism is evident in the book To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Throughout the story whites are constantly challenging blacks, and vice versa, because blacks want to be seen as equals and not as a lesser race. Racism has been in the United States since the beginning of time, when the whites first settled here they were racist against the Indians, they beat killed and cleared out their tribes, bust because they wanted their land. Then you see a different form of racism between blacks and whites, it was present just because of skin color; you see segregation between the two races up until the 1950s when schools became integrated, but the racism was still there....   [tags: blacks, bathrooms, equal rights]

Research Papers
748 words (2.1 pages)

Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Essay

- Though racism seems to be a thing of the past, there is still room for progression in the United States. Having been a country that was widely accepting of the enslavement of African Americans over a century ago, many Americans have not evolved nor turned the page on the subject. Despite the many movements, trials, and acts developed by our society to ensure civil rights to all African Americans, America remains a principally racist country. The only effective way to defeat racism is to not practice or teach what was once taught one hundred years ago....   [tags: african americans, antiracist]

Research Papers
894 words (2.6 pages)

Racism in Maycomb in Harper Lee´s To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

- In Harper Lee’s novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” there is a lot of racism. Racism happens everywhere in the world sometimes as a joke and sometimes as a joke or just randomly slips out of your mouth. Many people in the world are treated unequally because of their religion, color, beliefs, disabilities and much more. In this novel there is lots of racism and it’s mainly between the blacks and the whites. The blacks are treated like slaves and the whites are treated like kings. Jem was affected when Atticus decided to take the case and defend Tom Robinson, the trial and the discrimination against black people....   [tags: trail, discrimination, jem, racism]

Research Papers
555 words (1.6 pages)

Racism, Sexism and Socioeconomic Prejudice in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

- People are not born prejudiced. “It is something that is learned". It can be learned in the same way other attitudes and values are learned, primarily through association, reinforcement and modeling. For example, children may learn to associate a particular ethnic group with poverty, crime, violence and other negative things” (2006 Anti-Defamation League). Also, prejudice in “children may be reinforced by listening to derogatory ethnic jokes, especially when others laugh along or think they're cool”....   [tags: to kill a mockingbird, argumentative, persuasive]

Research Papers
834 words (2.4 pages)

The Issue of Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Essay

- The Issue of Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Works Cited Not Included Innocence - Children are born innocent. They learn prejudice from society: from their parents and the adults around them. The Mockingbird acts as a metaphor for innocence as Atticus states " Shoot all the blue jays you want …….. but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." Pg 98 The book begins by portraying the innocence and world of play of a tomboyish six year old girl and her ten year old brother....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird Essays]

Research Papers
1193 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Racism in the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

- Many years ago, some men, no, most men, hated Black people. This is a fact that Blacks were forced into getting used to. Daily, Blacks had to face the music that they were hated, they were not wanted, and the reality that most people would rather they be dead. This is exactly how people felt toward Tom Robinson, a Black man who was accused of terrible things just because of Racism; even though he was innocent. Racism in the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, affects the events in the novel by costing Tom Robinson his freedom and eventually, his life....   [tags: hate, slavery, freedom]

Research Papers
550 words (1.6 pages)

Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird Essay example

- Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird In the novel by Harper Lee named, To Kill a Mockingbird, there is one main tragic event that occurs. The feelings and expressions dealt with in the novel are seen through the eyes of the main character, named Scout. In the novel Tom Robinson is a black male accused of rape in Maycomb County. During the same time period as the novel there were many historical events that were almost identical in setting and conclusion. There were many things that happened leading up to the court case that foreshadowed Tom Robinson’s inability to be found innocent of the charges....   [tags: Harper Lee Kill Mockingbird Racism Essays]

Research Papers
1376 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Hypocrisy and Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

- Despite cultures and conflicts, the fundamental bonds remain: We all belong to a common family. The book, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee is a timeless classic about coming of age in a small southern town in the 1930’s. The book follows Jem and Scout, two siblings, who must face the harsh realities of life. Hypocrisy and racism together make the two most important themes. Hypocrisy is as much a part of Maycomb’s society as church and community spirit. For example, Mrs. Merriweather talks about saving the poor Mruans from Africa, but she thinks black people in her community are a disgrace (p.234)....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird Essays]

Free Essays
461 words (1.3 pages)

Essay about Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

- Racism was a very large part of society in the south during the 1930’s. Many colored people were thought of as less than their peers. Whites were considered better than African Americans were, and almost every white person accepted the unjust judgment. Racial discrimination hit hard in the south. Many of the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird were impacted by racial discrimination, including Calpurnia, Scout, and Tom Robinson and his family. One of the more “accepted” sorts of racism in the 1930’s was in the home....   [tags: Harper Lee]

Research Papers
1486 words (4.2 pages)

trusts and know that only Atticus is capable to fight for the truth
without concern to race.

During the time the book was written racism was widely spread and
considerably acceptable. During the period Tom was in jail a lynch mob
formed mostly by the Cunningham family, visited Atticus while he was
protecting Tom outside the prison, the mob wanted Tom killed, due to
their prejudice beliefs they knew that Tom was guilty because when
anything involved a black guy occurred the blacks had to be blamed and
had to be guilty. Scout witnessed the lynch mob and hurried to her
father, as she was looking at the strangers she recognized Walter
Cunningham's father, being Walter's friend, scout told Mr. Cunningham
to say 'hi' to Walter.

"I'll tell him you said hey, little lady," "Let's clear out… let's get
going boys"[3]

Mr. Cunningham was in a groups (mob) and so, his emotions and thoughts
have changed but when Scout talked to him she brought him to his
senses and made him an individual, she had made him an individual and
had made him think for himself rather than thinking like the group,
while in groups mobs are usually mindless, they cant think on their
own.


Another character in the novel is Dolphus Raymond, a white male who is
not prejudice; he has a black mistress and also has mixed children
from her.

"You mean all you drink in that sack's Coca-Cola?" [4]

Dolphus Raymond is not brave enough to stand up and say his opinion so
his way of overcoming Maycomb's disease is by pretending drunk, for
Maycomb it was wrong to be with the blacks, so you had to have an
excuse for being with them.

"Things haven't caught up with one's instinct. Let him get a little
older, and he wont get sick and cry" [5]

This quotation emphasizes on Maycomb's disease, the children aren't
yet affected by it, so whenever they see how bad the people are
treating the blacks they get all sick and cry about it, which is what
happened with Dill. Dolphus Raymond is saying even though his way of
confronting and overcoming the disease is dishonest, still this is his
excuse with being with the blacks by pretend to be drunk, he is doing
this because the people wont understand that he is doing this because
he does not care about skin color and that he wants to live like that
with the blacks.

Another major character in the novel is Atticus. In this novel racism
and prejudice weren't only against blacks but those connected with the
blacks, such as Atticus, he was appointed to defend Tom Robinson in
trail. One, fine example of the effort made to resist the disease is
Atticus's bravery, Atticus is clever and courageous enough to confront
the disease and stand up for himself and his beliefs. Atticus is
intelligent enough to blend in with the blacks and also mix with the
whites; Atticus does not have a problem with the blacks and is not
affected by what the people say.

"Scout Finch's daddy defended niggers" [6]

"Your father's no better than the niggers and trash he works for!" [7]

The people of Maycomb are mocking Atticus for defending the blacks and
working for their cause although it is ironic because deep inside they
agree with Atticus but aren't brave enough to say it out loud.

Throughout the book Atticus is elaborated on as a good and
understanding parent.

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from
his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in
it." [8]

Atticus once said this statement to his children, he is smart enough
to pass his beliefs and opinions to his children to educate them and
to inform them of the inequality and prejudice the blacks are facing.
During the trial of Tom Robinson, Atticus tried his best to fight for
the truth even thought he knew he was fighting a loosing battle. He
has gave the defense his best effort to make the people stand in Tom's
shoes and know how much he is suffering from the injustice he is
facing.

In her novel, 'To Kill A Mockingbird', Harper Lees has brought up the
idea of racism as a disease which has overcome a county, Racism is a
key theme in her novel she has shown us lots of examples on racism and
prejudice and she has connected the events with the characters well,
the main character in her story who had dome the most of the
confrontation is Atticus, who is an understanding parent, who is brave
enough to confront the disease, and is intelligent enough to deal with
the prejudiced white masses in Maycomb County.


---------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] To Kill A Mockingbird, Page 94

[2] Page 222

[3] Page 160

[4] Page 206

[5] Page 207

[6] Page 80

[7] Page 108

[8] Page 35
Return to 123HelpMe.com