To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee tells a story of racial prejudice during the Depression and how it is combated. The main development in the novel is that a Atticus, the father of Scout and Jem, has been appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a young white woman named Mayella. Many people in the town of Maycomb, particularly people involved with the case of Tom, have a negative attitude towards African Americans. Prejudice was a terrible issue in the South during the Depression, but Atticus Finch shows that racial injustice can be combated in two main ways, each having different levels of effectiveness. One way to combat prejudice is to show racially biased people that their ideas are wrong. Atticus does this by …show more content…
Another way to combat prejudice is by teaching against it to the upcoming generation. Atticus teaches Scout and Jem that demoralizing vocabulary should not be used, especially against black people. He says to them, nigger-lover is just one of those terms that don 't mean anythinglike snot-nose. It 's hard to explainignorant, trashy people use it when they think somebody 's favoring Negroes over and above themselves. It 's slipped into usage with some people like ourselves, when they want a common, ugly term to label somebody. (Lee 124) Atticus points out how terrible certain terms are as well as the people that use them. This encourages the children not to use terms like this so as not to become one of these terrible people. The children learn from him that despite how unpopular it is to love and/or support someone or a group of people, you should love everyone despite race or rank. He explains, I do my best to love everybody... I 'm hard put, sometimesbaby, it 's never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn 't hurt you." (Lee 124) With this quote Atticus not only teaches Scout and Jem to love everyone, but also not to let anyone or anything get in the way of you doing that. Lastly, Atticus shows the children not only that some people are simply bad people, but also that you should not do the bad things they do. He says, As you grow older, you 'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don 't you forget itwhenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash." (Lee 250) Atticus explains the harshness of the way white men treat and act around black people. He tells them that there is not excuse for behavior like that, and so the children choose not to act that way. This method of combating prejudice can be very effective on the children being taught,
When asked by his children why he chose to defend Tom Robinson when he knew he would most likely not win. He replied to them that if he hadn't, he wouldn't be able to believe in himself anymore. He chose to defend Tom Robinson because if he did not he would be going against all his personal morals and principles. Atticus tries to make his children realize that it is not because of the person's color that makes them innocent or guilty. Nor is it the economic status of a person that decides the amount of respect deserved by the person in question.
In the fiction novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the book is based off of her real life experiences and paints an image of what life looked like back in the 1930s. The setting of the scene begins in the south of a small town named Maycomb, Alabama. The novel presents numerous examples of racial prejudice towards African Americans, and it presents how helpless they are. In the novel, Harper Lee portrays a character named Atticus Finch as a hero. Atticus, who is a white man, intelligent lawyer, and the father of two, is asked to represent a black man named Tom Robinson in court, who was accused of raping a white women.
The main character in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird is Atticus Finch, a middle aged man living in Maycomb Alabama. Even though he is a southerner he isn’t racist and he believes that everyone should be treated equal, Atticus teaches his children empathy and not to discriminate against other people, he does his by telling them “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.” Even though Atticus treats everyone as equals he gets affected by the town and their prejudice way of thinking. Because Atticus accepts Tom Robinsons case he gets called a “nigger lover” and him and his children get treated differently by the town.
Atticus is fed up with the racism and decides to take a step up, “‘Cry about the simple hell people give other people — without even thinking. Cry about the hell white people give colored folks, without even stopping to think that they’re people too’” (Lee 269) Atticus is trying everything to make people realize that what they are doing is
To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel considered a classic that was written during the 1960s when racial equality and prejudice were huge. This novel explores the ideas of racism and stereotyping surrounding Negro individuals. The novel follows the story of Scout Finch, (who at the beginning of the novel) 6, and her brother, Jem, 10 (in the beginning), as they watch their father, Atticus Finch, defend a Negro man, Tom Robinson, that was convicted for raping a white woman. While it is evident that Tom is not guilty, he is condemned by the jury because of the bias against Negroes. At that time, most white people believed that every negro was dangerous and it was unspeakable that a black man would win a case against a white woman.
Numerous people prove their points through other things such as books, songs, etc., so they could be heard by others. “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a great example, considering the story’s plot and the many characters that represent it. Harper Lee wrote about was racism and how it affected people, using symbolism to help readers know what racism was like in the country back then so it wouldn’t happen again in the future. The idea of racism is in the whole book.
Atticus explains to Jem that no matter the circumstances you should treat every man kindly, although their appearances may not be appealing to you. “As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men everyday of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it-- Whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash”(298). The lesson Atticus is teaching is that no one should be treated differently because of their social status, and that you look cheap talking to someone like that. Another time Atticus taught something similar to this was when he was explaining phrases that were commonly used to associate white people with black people in a bad manor, to Scout. “‘Scout,’said Atticus, ‘nigger-lover is just one of those terms that don’t really mean anything-- like snot nose.
In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus as well as other characters throughout the book offer many tips of advice on life to not only the characters in the book but also to real human beings. Atticus experienced a difficult case where he was a defending a black man that was guilty before stepping into the courthouse. As this event was going on, Atticus gives advice to his kids and how life can be seen from a different perspective by stepping into someone else’s shoes. To people reading this book, all the events that unfold and the advices many characters give should be of great importance. They show that racism comes from those of evil and that hatred is inhuman.
To Kill a Mockingbird is a story about a young white, inquisitive girl, Scout Finch, and her family, who live in the quaint town of Maycomb, Alabama. This story takes place in the early 1930’s, the years of the Great Depression and Jim crow era when poverty and unemployment were spread through the United States. Scout learns about the racist world she lives in when her dad, a lawyer, defends Tom Robinson, an innocent, black man, who was charged with the rape of a white woman, Mayella Ewell. Although Harper Lee, the arthur of To Kill a Mockingbird, intended Atticus to be the hero of the novel, the true hero is Tom Robinson because he was victim to the antagonist of racism during the Jim Crow era. Harper Lee intended Atticus to be the hero
Atticus being the good father he tries to instill some morals into his children by teaching them life lessons. He prepares the children for adult life when issues such as racism, and discrimination are part of a daily routine and teaches them how to be good people. Atticus also tries to teach the children to treat everybody with respect. He tells Jem that" I have no doubt that you've been annoyed by your contemporaries about me lawing for niggers, as you say, but to do something like this to a sick old lady is inexcusable." (11.43).
He knows the rest of the town will disapprove, but he believes in the innocence of this man and does not care of his complexion. In this moment, Scout and Jem only see how everyone will downgrade them and see them differently. Atticus shows, it does not matter what others think, all that matters is that you support what you believe in. This shows how Atticus is a strong character who contributes a lot to the overall lesson
He is showing that no matter the race you do what is right. No matter the opinion of others, if you know something is wrong, stand tall and take charge. This is a positive role model where his kids can follow in his footsteps, look up to him and understand the rights and wrongs of things. Lastly, Atticus says, ‘’’I wanted you to see what real courage is... it’s when you know you 're licked before you begin
This was one of Atticus’s last lines from his statement and I think the deeper meaning is that people need to get over this “code” they have. The community needs to realize that even white people do discouraging things. Tom Robinson was just peacefully living his life until he was convicted of rape with no solid evidence, just people’s biases. Tom Robinson would have been a free man if people would have just opened their ears, listened to the evidence and forgotten he was a colored
As you can see Atticus displays the theme that no matter who you are or what happens, everyone deserves respect from others. Atticus treats everyone with respect weather they are a poor farm boy, a black man accused of rape or even a man who tries to kill
It’s hard to explain- ignorant, trashy people use it when they think someone is favoring negroes over and above themselves. It’s slipped into usage with some people like ourselves, when they want a common, ugly term to label themselves” (Lee 107). Atticus knows his kids are mature and will understand the real world. Above all, Atticus is a father that his kids can be proud of. He’s teaching them through his actions and words.