Mob Mentality In To Kill A Mockingbird

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During the 1930s, the Great Depression struck the USA, especially in rural areas. People were losing jobs, and it was a terrible tragedy in history. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee takes many elements during the early twentieth century and incorporated them into her book. This includes but not limited to the Jim Crow laws, mob mentality, and the Scottsboro trials. Jim Crow laws were used to keep Blacks and Whites separated. “Whites were superior to blacks in all important ways, including but not limited to intelligence, morality, and civilized behavior; sexual relations between blacks and whites would produce a mongrel race which would destroy America; treating blacks as equals would encourage interracial sexual unions; any activity which…show more content…
It showed the darker side of people, and now we have to learn about the terrible things people did in the past. The term mob mentality is used to refer to unique behavioral characteristics that emerge when people are in large groups. It is often used in a negative sense, because the term “mob” typically conjures up an image of an aggressive, chaotic group of people. Social psychologists who study group behavior also use terms such as “herd behavior,” "herd mentality" or “crowd hysteria” to describe similar behaviors (Smith). It happens because people think they are doing the right thing by hurting other people. They believe that the person they are hurting was a criminal, and should punished. Most of the time, the victim is innocent and wrongly accused. People become angry and start using violence to inflict pain onto the person they are beating. The people behave this way due to peer pressure, and following the crowd around them. Mob mentality occured not only in the south, as in the case of the Indiana lynching. In the picture taken by Lawrence Beitler, August 7, 1930, it shows see two African American men hanging from a tree (Beitler). The picture also shows people around them pointing, smiling, and ignoring the fact that there are two dead people hanging. This event was terrible, and should never be repeated for any stupid reason people would think it would be a good idea. Mob mentality can be seen in To Kill a Mockingbird in many ways. Comparing to a real life event, three men were taken from a prison, and two of them were hung (Richman). A similar event can be shown in the book, with Atticus protecting Tom Robinson outside the jail (Lee). Scout protected Tom by distracting the people in the mob to show them what they were doing was wrong. These two real life problems were used in the book to make it feel more realistic and make it overall an interesting

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