In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the famous father named Atticus says “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 (Judith 2). This quote is said during a time of intense racism. “Not long after Obama took office, the National Urban League released its 2009 State of Black America report. The findings showed that racial inequities continued in employment, housing, health care, education, criminal justice, and other areas” (Buckley 1). This essay will primarily focus on the criminal justice area of this when discussing the Scottsboro trials and comparing the trials to the famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird. In some schools, To Kill a Mockingbird is mandatory for students to read (“Harper Lee dies at 89: A quiet life, a lasting legacy-- see the photos” 2) however, in others it is banned. Jon Stewart said there is a “gaping racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend doesn’t exist” (Judith 2). There are similarities between the famous Scottsboro Trials and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
The book “To Kill a Mockingbird” written by Harper Lee and the article “Scottsboro Boys Trial” both contain controversial court cases. For “To Kill a Mockingbird” a black male named Tom Robinson was accused of raping a white woman named Mayella Ewell. In the “Scottsboro Boys Trial” nine young black men and teenagers are accused of raping two white females named Victoria Price and Ruby Bates. Both cases transpired in the 1930s in Alabama. This is bad for the accused as racism was at an all-time in the 1930s especially in the deep south. This was around the time when the Jim Crow Laws were still intact and black people were not still considered people and they would still lynch black people. If a black man was accused of any crime involving a white person the jury would take the white man's word over the black man’s word. These exact things
Harper Lee’s reenactment of the 1930 culture was completely accurate. She portrays an environment where blacks are completely disregarded as humans. Lee also shows how the time period permits for behavioral cruelty. For example during the trial, Dill is upset when Tom Robinson is convicted guilty. Scout comforts him saying not to worry, that Robinson is just a negro. Scout saying this displays how the social ladder has blacks at the bottom. Furthermore, Lee shows how white men had the most privileges, and completely disrespected the black population. She depicts this using the example where “Negroes worshiped in [the church] on Sundays and white men gambled in it on weekdays”(Lee 118). This illustrates how the black population was regarded
To Kill a Mockingbird and Mississippi Trial, 1955 are novels that tell the story of young children living in the 1900’s, when the world was full of racism. In the realistic fiction novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, and the nonfiction novel, Mississippi Trial, 1955, by Chris Crowe, tell the stories of two Negro men suffering the wrath of white men. There will be a glimpse into the cruel situations the blacks had to endure. Characters in the books, watch innocent men get convicted, watch juries turn away from justice, and how the characters' grow with the knowledge they gain. Lee and Crowe’s trials have the same idea when it comes to their causes, development, and outcomes, like watching their justice system give no justice at all, truly changes
Writers can’t help but be influenced by the events and people that they see around them. This is because they can communicate their feelings and/or beliefs about the world around them through characters, setting, and the scale of events in a given text. The influence becomes a part of the work that they write because, like a limb, a writer’s story is a part of them – their mind and imagination. This is clearly portrayed in To Kill a Mockingbird (TKAM) by Harper Lee, who has made extensive use of a microcosm within her characterisations to thoroughly explore a wide range of societal issues. Within TKAM, the essence of the Deep South in the 1930’s is explored through the experiences of a girl named Scout. While the majority of the book is, essentially
When most people think of intense racism, they think of the horrible ways people of color were treated many years ago. Unfortunately, many people think racism is a thing of the past, when this is, in fact, false. In Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, racism is shown as common practice to many and a monstrosity to very few. Unfortunately, in the small town of Maycomb County, racism wins out as an African American man named Tom Robinson is falsely accused of raping a woman and is sentenced to death. This may now seem like an anomaly, but this is in fact something that happens in the present day. Which is why it was intentional, that Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird demonstrates the theme: Progress-real
Lee Harper’s novel exhibits the results of the great depression and prejudice in the southern states. To Kill a Mockingbird, is a novel loosely based on Lee Harpers life and struggles and takes place in Maycomb county, Alabama in the 1930’s. Lee explores the concept of prejudice throughout the book with many different characters. The characters are judged by society even though no one knows all the facts, this portrays prejudice. Prejudice is the preconceived opinion on something or someone not based on reason or actual experience. The community of Maycomb county is bias towards Boo Radley, Tom Robinson, and Scout Finch.
Harper Lee uses the “mockingbirds” to explore and convey the theme of prejudice in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The novels is set in southern Alabama during the early 1930s and the town is immersed in poverty due to the Great Depression and riddled with widespread prejudice. People are judged based on the color of their skin or their economic status. A mockingbird is an innocent as explained by Miss Maudie when she reveals that "mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird (90).” The most obvious mockingbird is Tom Robinson, but Lee also uses the Black Community, as represented by Calpurnia, and Arthur Radley, “Boo” as
During the 1930’s, racism and prejudice against black people was very prevalent in everyday life. They were segregated from white people in almost all aspects of society; bathrooms, public transportation, schools, housing and even jails were segregated. Black people were treated as second class citizens, beneath even the poorest of white people.Black people were not the only victims; women were limited in everything they did. Women were meant to sit around, look pretty, and do domestic work around the house. Some women were happy to do this while others like Scout, a character in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, dreaded the day that this would become her life. To Kill a Mockingbird brings to light the racist and sexist attitudes of the 1930’s
To Kill A Mockingbird a book written by Harper Lee the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, has many lessons in the text. The book was published July 11, 1960. The book take place in Maycomb, Alabama resembling Harper Lee's hometown of Monroeville. During 1933 to 1935. Harper Lee is telling a story about a black man named Tom Robinson is accused of raping a young white girl named Mayella Ewell. Black people in the story play a big role in To Kill A Mockingbird, they teach lessons throughout the book. Lessons are taught through character and how they are treated. Racial minority characters teach important lessons, they are disrespected and they are not seen equal to any white folks. Main lessons are learned from Calpurnia and Tom Robinson. How does the disrespect of colored people teach us how it teaches lessons?
The Great Depression was a period of great fear and unpredictability. Millions of people in the United States lost their jobs and homes (McCabe 12). “By 1932, at the height of the Depression, the unemployment rate had reached nearly 25 percent” (McCabe 12). In To Kill a Mockingbird, there were many families who lived on very little due to the Depression, and the effects of their poverty can be seen in the novel, especially pertaining to the blacks. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee used many different non-fiction historical influences as inspiration, such as the Jim Crow laws, mob mentality, and the Scottsboro trials.
In the 1900’s a lot of things were happening like racism. Racism was a big thing that people talked about all the time like the Scottsboro Boys trial, the African American church burning, and the Jim Crow Laws. Harper Lee wanted to spread her expression to the people about racism and wanted to tell the world about how black people were treated differently because of their race. All of these were big factors in the 1900’s. Harper Lee later wrote the book To Kill a Mockingbird which was inspired by the Scottsboro Boys trial, the African American church burning, and the Jim crow Laws.
Tom Robinson represents a mockingbird slain by injustice and racial prejudice. Robinson is a gracious African American unjustly convicted and executed for a crime he did not commit. He was a caring person, concerned for Mayella Ewell’s well-being despite her skin color. Robinson did not make any effort to push Ewell away from her approaches, but decided to flee without harming Ewell in any way. As it was a custom to lynch a black man accused of raping a white woman, the Maycomb folk attempted to lynch Robinson for entertainment. Robinson was left to suffer the wrath of injustice. The jurors decided that he was guilty despite of his innocence. It was stated in the constitution that “when it’s a white man’s word over the black man’s word, the
Racism was rife during this period with racial segregation policies enforced across the southern states. Black people were victims of horrible prejudice and discrimination. They were mistreated and could not trust the police or the courts to protect them as they were often assumed guilty once they had been accused of a crime.