Examples Of Jim Crow Laws In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Jim Crow laws are derogatory laws about colored people formed in the post-Civil War era; they stayed prominent in the United States until the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. In To Kill a Mockingbird, a novel by Harper Lee about a childhood in the South during the Great Depression, Jim Crow laws are very eminent in the quotidian life of Scout Finch, the main character of To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus Finch, Scout’s father, has to cope with problems caused by these laws because he is the lawyer for an African American man named Tom Robinson, who was convicted of a severe crime. Even though Jim Crow laws were considered customary during the 1930s, Atticus Finch protested them in more ways than one, including accepting the Tom Robinson…show more content…
Dubose. Mrs. Dubose was an elderly woman who lived on the same street as Scout, Jem, and Atticus. She constantly reprimanded and complained about Scout and Jem’s behavior and Atticus, so Scout and Jem disliked her. However, Atticus constantly reminded them to be nice to her; she had a lot more happening than she let on. He told Jem, “‘She’s an old lady and she’s ill. You just hold your head high and be a gentleman’” (Lee.100). He also said, “‘I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. Mrs. Dubose won, all ninety-eight pounds of her. According to her views, she died beholden to nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person I ever knew’” (Lee.112). Even though Mrs. Dubose was Caucasian, Atticus indirectly taught Scout and Jem how to treat all people, including African Americans. They might not have realized it at the time, but Atticus was teaching them a valuable lesson: treat all people equally, no matter how they treat you. Most Caucasian parents of the time taught their children that they were better than African Americans, but Atticus showed Scout and Jem how to treat all people…show more content…
He accepted Tom Robinson’s case, even though he knew they would not win. He treated Calpurnia like family while most Caucasians looked down on her. Also, he taught Jem and Scout to treat Mrs. Dubose—and indirectly all people—with respect. While most Caucasians of the 1930s looked down upon African Americans, Atticus showed them kindness, courtesy, and equality. In doing this, he truly lived up to Rosa Parks’ words: “Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall
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