Throughout the novel To Kill A Mockingbird, first published in 1960, Harper Lee uses various characters to demonstrate themes. Harper Lee uses minor characters behaviours and mannerisms to show the effects of hatred and prejudice on adults and children.
Cecil Jacobs and Burris Ewell show the impact on what parents say around their children and how children easily adopt their parents ideologies. Cecil Jacob was the product of a racist upbringing. When fighting with scout in the schoolyard, Cecil says " my folks said your daddy was a disgrace an’ that --- oughta hang from the water tank!” (Lee, page 102). Children are innocent and incapable of forming such harsh opinions by themselves. The only way for Cecil to have formed these opinions is …show more content…
For instance, Dolphus was allowing the town to assume things about him because the alternative was much worse. When asked why he pretends he says” I try to give ‘em a reason, you see. It helps folks if they can latch onto a reason. When I come to town, which is seldom, if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can say Dolphus Raymond’s in the clutches of whiskey- that's why he won't change his ways. He can't help himself, that's why he lives the way he does.” ( page 268). Dolphus was forced to protect his family from more criticism by not correcting Maycomb’s rationalization of his behaviour. Dolphus suffered in the process having people slander his name and think poorly of him. The rumours about Arthur also affected him and altered his way of living dramatically. The town is spreading ideas that “when people's azaleas froze in a cold snap, it was because he had breathed on them. Any stealthy crimes committed in Maycomb were his work.” (Page 10). The false accusations toward Arthur make him hesitant to come outside. People already believe these false claims wholeheartedly and if Arthur came outside he would become a spectacle. Arthur is shy and timid so to avoid the towns reaction to seeing him his only option is to stay inside. Dolphus and Arthur show the terrible, irreversible consequences of prejudice and how characters are
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In 1960, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird was published during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The story takes place in a small town in the deep South in the 1930’s. Lee wrote the novel to challenge her audience’s racist views of society. Atticus Finch, a white lawyer defends Tom Robinson, a black man who was accused of raping a white girl. The novel explores race relations and questions whether people are inherently good or evil.
The town of Macomb functions as a character with its own personalities, rather than merely a backdrop for the novels events in a multitude of ways by displaying traits, changes and developments more commonly endured by cognitive individuals opposed to an unanimous object. Maycomb encompasses elements of a character by establishing the fact that Macomb is stitched up by people who bring individuality and spark situations to determine the towns demeanor. There are several extraneous quotes illustrating the Macomb population and making it evident that Maycomb exemplifies human traits by conjuring all of these people into the towns sociology and preferences, just like how a character is influenced by several different sources, helping make who
The town of Maycomb is established as a town with a rigid social hierarchy, typical traditions and attitudes of that era and a hotspot for prejudice especially racial. Lee, by creating a town like Maycomb also generated the birth of many
To Kill a Mockingbird is an important text worthy of all the recognition it received in the time following its original publication. A prime piece of fine American literature based in a period of extreme racial segregation and inequality. Set in a southern town of Maycomb Alabama during the depression, Lee follows three years of the life of eight-year-old Scout (Jean Louise) Finch and her older brother Jem (Jeremy) Finch as their father is, for three years, a fundamental figure in a case that had punctured the town as a result of the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man. As the years commence/continue, Scout and Jem, alongside the audience grow increasingly aware of prejudice throughout society as they learn the importance of perspective and being courageous when faced with adversity. By illustrating the influence of prejudice on society, Harper Lee challenges the perspectives of society, criticizing the nature of humankind to stereotype and be prejudice towards one another and in doing so, she successfully convinces the author to look beyond the facade society creates and locate the humanity that is concealed within everybody.
The negative affects in this passage such as loss of hope and innocence, convicting an innocent person guilty etc., shows how powerful racism was in a Maycomb and the prejudiced behaviour of the citizens in Maycomb. Lee uses several literary devices in this passage to intensify the mood of the story and make people know that this is how bad situations were as a way to rebel against the racism present in this
Like most places, Maycomb County, Alabama was full of hardworking people of integrity, as well as dishonest, indolent citizens. Atticus, a distinguished lawyer, raised his two kids, Scout and Jem, to be disciplined youth, practicing honest morals. Everyone in Maycomb admired Atticus for his respectable character, just as they all abhorred the Ewell family, for their cheating and lying ways. However, Atticus’ prominent role in town was suddenly challenged when he was chosen to defend in court Tom Robinson, a black man whom Mayella Ewell accused him of taking advantage of her. Eyes that once looked up to Atticus with deep admiration, now glared at him in disgust.
The testimonies reveal how deep-rooted the racism within Maycomb runs, as it is present even in court rulings and how casually present it is. The court is taking place, and the order of prosecutor’s witnesses who are: Mr. Heck Tate, the sheriff; Mr. Bob Ewell, Mayella’s father; and Mayella Ewell, the one who is accusing Tom Robinson of raping her. When it’s Mr. Ewell’s turn to speak, he does so with many racial slurs and slang embedded in his accusations. When relaying what he saw to the jury, he points at Tom and yells “―I seen that black n*gger yonder ruttin’ on my Mayella!” Mr. Ewell, who, although, has never been a part of a court case or viewed one, doesn’t truly care, or notice, that so far into the formal case, not one person has used racial slang to talk about Tom, and uses the term n*gger quite casually.
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee contains various examples of racism and prejudice throughout the novel. The story takes place in the 1930's, a period when racism was a part of everyday life. Prejudice and racism in this book are represented by acts of hate towards others because of the color of their skin. In this novel, prejudice and racism was dominantly pointed towards blacks. Acts of racism can be discreet to the point that you can easily miss them.
Characters that are a higher class are treated with more respect especially if they are a white male. In Maycomb it is very segregated and many characters are placed into harsh stereotypes. When deciding if Mayella Ewell is powerful, the reader must first break down the story, in this case we can start with Mayella Ewell’s gender and how it
Another character who is victimized by racial discrimination and its consequences is Dolphus Raymond. He is a prosperous white man who lives outside of Macomb with his black paramour and his mixed children. Dolphus fakes being drunk so that the people in Macomb have an excuse for his inappropriate behaviours. He prefers the citizens of Macomb to despise him for a valid excuse rather than to discriminate him based on his personal choices. Racial discrimination negatively effects Dolphus and his children.
Although To Kill A Mockingbird was written in the 1960s, Harper Lee incorporated her views on women and created characters that depicted different views on femininity in the 1930s, like Alexandra who believed in society’s view of a woman, and Miss Maudie, who managed to find a balance between her true self and society’s ideas and images.
As the hero of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch has an unorthodox outlook on racism. 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 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.” (252). This outlook allows him to approach the obstacles that come with a trial of a black man vs a white woman. Harper Lee, the author of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, worked on revisions for 2.5 years on the novel before it was published in 1960.
He is associated with black people and has “mixed children” with a black women. Many in Maycomb find this odd , and do not like the way he lives. To avoid a magnified amount of inequity, Dolphus pretends to drink, which allows those of Maycomb to believe his drunkenness is the reason behind his ways. “I try to give ‘em a reason, you see. It helps folks if they can latch onto a reason.
This shows that Mr. Raymond is willing to live with this lie in order to satisfy his neighbors' need to understand his lack of racism. Just like the mockingbird he means no harms to anyone and wishes only to live in peace with his family. Furthermore, Mr Raymond symbolizes a mockingbird because he doesn't like to fight. For instance, when scout asked him why does he pretend he’s drunk, he says When I come to town, if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can say Dolphus Raymond's in the clutches of whiskey—that's why he won't change his ways. He can't help himself, that's why he lives the way he does" it indicates that Mr. Raymond's leads a double life instead of fighting for what he believes in.
The timeless book, To Kill a Mockingbird was published in the year 1960 by Harper Lee. This is a fiction book with a couple of thriller scenes involved. The main message of the book is one that unravels at the end, but not over the course of the book. In this book Harper Lee tries to show that our world kills people through innocence just because of differences or other small disputes.