In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Jem, Scout, and Dill’s innocence is destroyed. They lose their carefree and happy existence through the ignorance and racism in their hometown of Maycomb. Initially, the children believe everyone in Maycomb is friendly. They do not understand the racism occurring in their town until Tom Robinson’s trial. After observing the Tom Robinson trial, the children’s view of some of the citizens in their town change because of the hatred against blacks and the obvious injustice in the courtroom. Robinson is a black man convicted of raping a white girl and despite the evidences being on Robinson’s side, he is found guilty and is sentenced to prison. The trial causes Scout, Jem, and Dill to witness discrimination, …show more content…
During the trial, Dill is distraught by the way Mr. Gilmer, the prosecutor, speaks to Tom. Dill does not think anyone has the business to talk that way and “that old Mr. Gilmer doin’ him thataway, talking so hateful to him,” (265) made him sick. Mr. Gilmer interrogates questions like “Are you being impudent to me, boy,” (264) and acts toward Tom as if he is an untamed animal being trained and not a full-grown adult. Although Tom Robinson is treated harshly, Jem believes Atticus, the defendant lawyer and their father, has won the case because of the strong evidences presented and the fact that Tom is innocent (279). When the jury pronounce Tom guilty, Jem is exasperated and “his hands were white from gripping the balcony rail, and his shoulder jerked as if each ‘guilty’ was a separate stab between them,” (282). Even though “rape is capital offense in Alabama,” (293) meaning the prosecuted will be sentenced to death, the children could not believe the jury has sentenced a guiltless man to death. According to Atticus, it is a sad truth that an accused African-American has never won a court case and “when it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins,” (295). Although it is a sad truth, Atticus believes …show more content…
They interact with the black citizens at Calpurnia’s church and enjoy the new experience of singing ‘linin’. The children, especially Scout, also want to visit Calpurnia at her home. Unfortunately, not everyone, such as Aunt Alexandria, approve of the white children associating with black people. When the court case takes place, Scout, Jem and Dill notice more discrimination between the black and white race. The children see how harshly Mr. Gilmer, the prosecutor, treats a black man like Tom Robinson. The children become aware of the cruelty of racism when an innocent black man is found guilty of assaulting a white woman. Broken and in shock, Jem, Scout, and Dill try to forget the incident because they are unhappy with the result of the trial. The children try to let time pass and move on but are unable to forget some of the immoral reasons behind it, which is the racial discrimination against the blacks and the unjustifiable prosecution of a guiltless
The major theme in To Kill a Mockingbird is the loss of innocence. Not only do Scout and Jem lose their innocence, but other characters do as well. Scout and Jem grow up throughout the book, as they are exposed to the realities of racism, hatred and child abuse. They witness racism in the Tom Robinson case when Mayella Ewell claims he took advantage of her, when it was really Bob Ewell that did it. The court voted Tom Robinson guilty because he was African American, and most of the town would have been furious if a white man was convicted over a black man.
Atticus is appointed a case by Judge Taylor to defend a black man named Tom Robinson who has been accused of raping a white girl named Mayella Ewell. Because of the racism and prejudice against black people, he believes that he will not win this case and could risk the life of Tom Robinson. Because of this case, Scout gets bullied by Francis about how his dad is defending a black man, Atticus later talks to Scout about how “[Tom Robinson] lives in [a] settlement behind the town dump….there’s been some high talk around the town to the effect that I shouldn’t do much about defending this man” (Lee 86). Atticus knows that something bad can happen to him if he were to defend Tom Robinson but still does so because he has the courage to do it. After the trial had ended, Atticus was waiting for news but he did not expect something so terrible and heartbreaking, Tom Robinson, unfortunately, died after being shot several times.
After watching the court hearings, Jem had confidence in the jury to rule in favor of the defendant, because of the compelling case that Atticus had made, where he had exposed the lies that the witnesses made on stand, while proving Mr. Robinson’s innocence with actual evidence and effective reasoning. “Jem was jumping in excitement. ‘We’ve won, haven’t we?’” (210). However, while Jem is aware of his community’s bias against people of color, he doesn’t believe that the bias will infringe upon justice and affect the verdict.
Blue Jays and Mockingbirds Who are the blue jays and mockingbirds of To Kill A Mockingbird? Set in the early 1930’s of America, Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is a coming-of-age book that tells the story of an innocent, naive child becoming an adult through the experience and intake of racism, discrimination, and social injustice throughout the book. Harper Lee’s development, usage and characterization of her characters throughout To Kill A Mockingbird help establish two of her most important themes of the book, which are the presence of social injustice and the coexistence of good and evil. Social injustice is consistently seen throughout To Kill A Mockingbird.
When one grows up, it is inevitable they will lose their innocence. Seeing the world through rose colored glasses can only take one so far, and eventually they will have to open their eyes to real issues in their lives. While this happens at different ages for everyone, Atticus in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee believes that his kids should not be sheltered from the real world. As Scout and Jem, Atticus’ children, grow up, especially in a time where Maycomb is so segregated, Atticus teaches his kids real life lessons and to not become like the rest of their town; racist and judgemental. This comes with a cost, however, as the kids “grow up” at an expedited rate.
Tom Robinson is a black man who is wrongfully convicted of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell. This novel goes through Scout's life from when she was 6, till she is 9. She lives in the town of Maycomb Alabama, and lives an innocent life until about halfway through the story, where she begins to ask questions. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Scout shows the readers that racial inequality creates an unjust society through the African American community, through the people surrounding colored folks, and through Tom Robinson’s Case. The first example of the consequences of racial inequality is the African American community in Maycomb.
The author demonstrates the problems in the school systems when Scout enters school she is reprimanded by her teacher, Mrs. Honeycomb for reading proficiently. She is commanded to “tell [her] father not to teach [her] anymore” and stop reading outside of school. Lee’s incongruity of the situation alerts her readers to the flaws within the school system. Lee satirizes the church when Scout and Jem are taken to church by Calpurnia, their black housekeeper, when the children’s father is unavailable. At this Christian church, the children are ridiculed for being white.
After Atticus loses his trial, Jem notices that the Maycomb County justice system is broken and it needs help, “Then it all goes back to the jury, then. We oughta do away with juries. ”(294) This shows that Jem now understands that people are racist in everything and racism needs to be fought. On top of realizing that the justice system is in shambles, Jem realized that Tom Robinson’s case was very good at showing that.
To illustrate, “Tom Robinson is a colored man, Jem. No jury in the world is going to say, ’We think you are guilty, but not very,’ on a charge like that.” (Lee, 251). This quote shows how little faith Atticus had in Tom’s freedom. He knew that he would not win Tom’s trial, no matter how hard he tried, because no jury in 1930s Alabama would take the word of a black man over that of a white man, no matter how much evidence there was to prove the black man’s innocence.
Scout is again being taunted by a peer for her father’s defense of a black person. Although Atticus has tried to instill in his children a sense of morality, it is tested by the racist residents of Maycomb. Scout here learns of prejudice that she doesn’t understand because Atticus has raised his children to be logical and to value a person for themselves rather than their skin color. Blatant racism is also demonstrated on page 135 when Ms. Dubose says to Scout and Jem, “‘Your father’s no better than the niggers and the trash he works for!’” The fact that an old woman is attacking young children for their father’s profession, shows how Maycomb is deeply rooted in racism.
Children are very impressionable people. Almost everything around them changes them in some way. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the main characters, Scout and Jem, start out as little kids who spend their days making up stories and playing sill games. Then their dad, who is a lawyer, takes on a case defending a black man who has been charged with rape. Since they live in Alabama, The whole family has to absorb some pretty ugly things, which forces Scout and Jem to grow up quickly, and it gives them a different and more mature view of the world.
Dill is an important character in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Dill sparks the interest of Authur Radley to Jem and Scout. In the book, Dill gets Jem to go past the gate and touch the house, and Jem, Dill, and Scout go sneak into the Radley's backyard. Dill is also an example of childhood innocence. Dill shows Scout how you can't just assume with people.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, is a story about inequality, injustice and racism seen through the eyes of two innocent children, Jem and Scout. Jem and Scout live in Maycomb, Alabama and learn these sad lessons through their relationships with their father Atticus, their maid Calpurnia, their mysterious neighbor Boo Radley, and Tom Robinson, a black man who is accused of a terrible crime. Through their relationship with Boo and Tom, Jem and Scout learn about racism and inequality that changes how they see the world. Boo Radley and Tom Robinson are two different people who share similar struggles with inequality throughout this story. Boo and Tom experience a form of racism and discrimination.