Justice In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

1081 Words5 Pages
American society in the South during the 1930s was full of prejudice, injustice, and racism towards African-Americans, known as “negroes” to white people. Segregation caused whites to treat blacks very poorly as a result of prejudice. One result of this was a justice system unfairly favored for whites. Harper Lee displays these ideas of prejudice, injustice, and racism in her story To Kill a Mockingbird. She does this through the events involving Boo Radley, Tom Robinson’s trial, Aunt Alexandra’s actions, and the visit to Calpurnia’s church. Although the main characters in Harper Lee’s novel are important in establishing the themes of prejudice, racism, and justice, the secondary characters in the plot are essential to understanding these themes.…show more content…
Tom Robinson, an innocent black man falsely accused of rape by Bob Ewell and his daughter, represents Lee’s message about justice for African-Americans in American society, specifically in the South, in the 1930s. She gives explicit proof as to the fairness of the court system when Reverend Sykes tells a confident Jem, “I ain’t never seen any jury decide in favor of a colored man over a white man” (Lee 279). This indicates that justice in court trials was not properly served and was unfairly favored towards whites. Robinson’s trial also reflects the motif of killing a mockingbird. Scout is told in the story that “it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird,” because they “don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy” (Lee 119). Lee uses her motif to demonstrate her message about justice as well. Tom Robinson is like a mockingbird, innocent and kind. His wrongful conviction is like he was “killed” in that he was ruled guilty despite being innocent. This is like a sin because it is an injustice. Lee primarily uses Tom Robinson along with his trial and the motif to express the theme of justice throughout her
Open Document