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Racism in To Kill A Mockingbird Essay


To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

In the book To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee racism was discussed towards blacks. Those that disagreed with this crude behavior of this prejudices was also treated with disrespect and hated, merely for standing up for what they believed was wrong. The blacks were disliked for the color of their skin.

The main plot of the story is when a black man name Tom Robinson was accused of the raping of a white girl, age nineteen name Mayella Violet Ewell. This allegations of the rape case upset many people. The incident caused whites to become very angry. They wanted to do something about Tom Robinson being wrongfully accused. Therefore a white male name Atticus Finch stands up for him. He was a brave man and full of pride and dignity. Because of the racism and treatment toward negros as shown through the characters and setting, To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel that should not be removed from high school classrooms.

In this novel the negros living in Maycomb were look upon as less human and betrayed as dogs. They were working for the white people in their fields for long hours of the day. Maycomb country was portrayed as the town where negros was not respected.

When Jem, Dill, and Scout secretly snuck into the Radleys yard they witnessed through the window Nathan, however Nathan was not able recognize who they were. Therefore he falsely made an allegation stating that it was a black man. Miss Stephanie tells the children what Mr. Nathan said he Scared him pale, though. Says if anybody sees a white nigger around, thats the one (44). Mr. Nathan was so prejudice and full of hatred that he refused to vision the truth. Therefore he made the story up to also convince the other white people that the he was telling the truth. In reality Mr. Nathan had no idea who came into his yard. It was easier for him to blames a black man because he doesnt believe a white person would do it.

Not all the white people in Maycomb County were as cruel as Nathan Radley, causing lots of problems. Atticus Finch character is described as a good man. He knows how to treat blacks and instilling it in his children. He did not allow his children to speak or act prejudicially teaching them good morals and ethics. When Scout comes home and asks Atticus if he defended niggers. Atticus told her of course I do. Dont say nigger Scout. Thats common.(62). Atticus tells Scout that defending Tom Robinson is a matter of conscience and principle for him. He has to take the case for his self-respect, even though he knows he cant win, because Tom is a black man. Atticus has a black house worker named Calpunia. He treats her with respect, like she is a human being and not just a black unlike the ignorant other whites.

Francis is a racist little boy that learns racial comments form his elders. On Christmas night Francis said to Scout grandma says its bad enough he lets you run wild, but now hes turned out a nigger-lover.(68) Children are not born racist it is a learned behavior that can be prevented with the right guidance and role models. Which prevent violence that is portrayed in this novel. Francis views were shared by many other whites in town such as Mrs. Dubose.

Mrs. Dubose is described as a cranky elderly woman who is also racist. The children hate her because she says mean things to them every day they walk by her house. One day the children walk by and Mrs. Dubose says not only a Finch waiting on tables but one in the courthouse lawing for niggers!(85) Mrs. Dubose statement is just one of the statements made explaining the true prejudiceness. She is wrong for saying this to the children. Further on Atticus explains to Jem that Mrs. Dubose is moody because she is sick. She is addicted to morphine and trying to withdrawal resulting in her rude behavior. Mrs. Dubose refused to allow blacks into her home excluding a negro girl name Jessie.

There are many places in Maycomb that are segregated, even Calpunias church is segregated and only blacks attend the church. It would be very awkward for the people in the church to see a white come and have service with them. When Atticus travels out of town the children attend Calpunias church named First Purchase. Lula a member of the church did not approve of the children attending the church. When the children arrived to church with Calpurnia Lula ask Calpurnia I wants to know why you bringin white chillun to nigger church. She did not have open arms to the children. However, Reverend Sykes and the rest of the church members welcomed them and spoke to them kindly. Lula also showed signs of prejudice towards the white children attending First Purchase church. White and blacks shared racism, some more than others. This really came to reality when men warn Atticus about the trouble coming from The Old Sarum bunch.

Atticus was confronted on a Saturday night by Heck Tate, Link Deas, Dr. Reynolds, Mr. Avery and other white men claiming the safety of Mr. Robinson could not be promised. Allegations of trouble coming from the Old Sarum Bunch. Atticus listened and continued to support Mr. Robinson. Atticus family watched from inside the home with concern.

On Sunday Atticus followed through with the courting procedure and sat outside the jail cell while his family waited outside the building. Atticus refused to show signs of fear to his family. A group of white men appeared who was the lynching mob, lead by Mr. Cunningham, instructing Atticus to move so they can get to Tom. Atticus refused their request and remained where he was placed. Scout runs over to her father and began to talk to Mr. Cunningham, she talked about the son of Cunningham and made conversation about his family instead of the very uncomfortable situation. This allowed the men to walk away and allow the trail to take place the next day.

The trail continued with fear but no regret. The court is full of both whites, blacks, women and children. Bob Ewell takes the stand to tell his side of the story. Which was followed by Mayella. Atticus questions Mayella she proceeded to give a statement unware that she was changing her original statement. Once she was requestioned she repeated her first statement. She had made the courts aware of her original statement being unbelievable. Mayella repeatedly stated she struck by Mr. Tom left hand. Mr. Atticus proves that Mr. Toms had no muscle movement in his left hand, proven this allegation to be false. However, the court determined that Mr. Tom was guilty as charged. The conviction leads to more problems for Mr. Toms safety. Mr. Tom went another jail attempted to escape by climbing over a gate and the guard shot him seventeen times killing him.

Although Mr. Tom was dead Mr. Ewell still wanted revenge on Atticus. After Scouts play Mr. Ewell attacks Atticuss children. Arthur Boo Radley was there and he protected the children. However, Jem still went into a coma as a result of hitting his head during the attack. Scout explains to the sheriff that Bob was attempting to attack the children using a knife as retaliation against Atticus. Boo stabbed Mr. Ewell attempting to protect the children. In order to keep Boos name clean the sheriff reported that Bob stabbed himself and died. Scout says to Atticus Well, itd be sort of like shootin a mockingbird, wouldnt it. Letting him know she knows how Mr. Ewell really did die and everything was a lie causing lots of trouble and lost lives.

Because of the racism and treatment toward negros as shown through the characters and setting, To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel that should not be removed from high school classrooms. This novel has explained the true meaning of how blacks lives were not valued regardless of the judgment system. The white and black families all made statements for and against each other stating their opinions. The life of a black man was taken for wanting his freedom that was owed to him. As well as the life of white men was taken for wanting revenge. The novel explained racial prejudice and what it will result to. The families made many attempts to be heard. However, due to the deep rooted of hate and pain prejudice was the weapon used to destroy the lives of many. This novel is being read today in many schools all over the world. Many people refuse to allow blacks and whites to be looked upon as equal. The change is needed. History was just made last month with the winning of the 44th president of the United States. The world divided into parts of blacks, white, male, female, old and young. After the winning of the presidency President-Elect Barack Obama made history of the first African American man to ever become President. This made the world see that a change had arrived. However, it did not stop people from writing hate states on a college wall or sending hate mail to others. This novel should allow people the read between the lines and want change in their ways of thinking and not further teach hated. .The parents, teachers, law enforces, justice and religious leaders are the teachers needed for raise a village.

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