Q: Discuss how and why Atticus challenges the dominant attitudes and values of the time. Back in the 1930s, racism was not abnormal in the society. In fact, racism often happened in America in the 1930s. The white people would always rule over the people of colour, known as African Americans. The novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” consisted of many discriminatory remarks against others, which would not be accepted anymore in the 21st century.
People took advantage of their desperation, struggles and of their high hopes and dreams of a better life. In this book, you can see how problematic all the situations they dealt with were and how desperation affected people’s behaviour in peculiar ways. In Grapes of Wrath, money is a very important theme, that shows up in important moments in the book. The economic downfall, also known as the Great Depression, was a huge bellwether for how people acted in the 1930s. The fear of the inability to provide for oneself and his/her family drove the families to this struggle.
The time period of which the book was written is the 1930’s and it was a quarrelsome time for race relations. During that period an economic slump, called the Great Depression, had affected many people’s lives as it was the most severe depression ever experienced by an industrialized country. Also factors like the Jim Crow laws and the 2nd Ku Klux Klan resulted in white people discriminating against blacks people. The Great Depresion is an important era in the United States’ history. In the 30’s, the complications that came along with the Great Depression affected the public severely.
In the past, and even to this day, racism was one of the biggest problems in our society. Throughout history, there were attempts to alleviate inequality. Among these were the Civil Rights Movement and the publication of the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, activists, including Martin Luther King, fought for justice in America. In To Kill a Mockingbird, topics like stereotypes and inequality are mentioned in Atticus Finch’s Closing Argument.
In chapter 10 Howard Zinn talks about the civil war, the disadvantages and advantages between the poor and rich. The poor have always been the bait in America, due to the lack of money and power. When war is in progress, most of the time the poor are demanded to go to war because the wealthy groups have the money and power to escape from death. “ To give people a choice between two different parties and allow them, in a period of rebellion, to choose the slightly more democratic one was an ingenious mode of control. Like so much in the American system, it was not devilishly contrived by some master plotters; it developed naturally out of the needs of the situation”( Zinn, 200).
Judging a book by its cover is an often used term that people use to describe a situation where many people are stereotypical. In the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, a book written about racism and discrimination, is projecting this lesson. This story is written in the narrative of a woman named Scout, who tells her tale of a specific story when she was a young child. It takes place in the 1930’s in Maycomb County of Alabama, where discrimination is typical and normal for the town to do. Jem, a mysterious, curious, and maturing brother to Scout, gets fascinated by what Atticus, his father, does for a living.
The poor citizens in Maycomb, Alabama face different inequalities. For example, the Cunninghams and Ewell families, even though they are both poor they are treated differently the Cunninghams are poor but honest, and hardworking while the Ewells are considered trash, and lazy. Social inequality in To Kill A Mockingbird is augmented by the woman, the poor, and the black residents which are considered inferior to the other residents. Harper Lee the author of To Kill A Mockingbird shows racial bias in many places. In particular racial bias is shown in page (220) “in our courts, when it’s a white man's word against a black man’s, the white white man always wins”.
Why do people become corrupted when they acquire power? Upon examining the force that power holds over people, I’ve come to conclude that it can be narrowed down to these few factors: The knowledge of power, itself, is destructive. It affects freedom of choice, and that knowledge, such as foreboding, is unjust because of the lack of control the person has about the situation (and the resulting destruction of a person it creates). Although there are differences between “Macbeth” and “Flowers for Algernon”, such as the roles of the supporting characters in the protagonists’ destruction and the purpose of their symbols, they are similar in the evolution of the protagonists in plot, their themes and the characteristics of their respective literary periods. These points demonstrate the correlation between acquired knowledge and power with destruction.
Merriam-Webster defines discrimination as: a prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment, racial discrimination, or the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually. When looking at discrimination in To Kill a Mockingbird, we cannot make the mistake of lumping all discrimination into the category of “racial.” In order to understand the true role of discrimination in Harper Lee 's novel we need to first understand the time period and setting, the mood of that setting, and the conflict itself. To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in the 1930 's during the Great Depression, in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama. It was a time when southerners still felt deep pride, even though life was difficult.
There are more white prosecutors in death penalty states, than any other minority. Majority of these states have conflicts when it comes to African Americans and other minorities other than whites. (Death Penalty Information Center: Race and the Death Penalty) Other minorities also receives this punishment as well, people are still being killed for crime(s). Being poor also contributes to the death penalty because if the defendant, can not afford a proper lawyer, then the defendant is fighting against a corrupted system. That’s when plea bargains come into play because if not careful, than the defendant can play right into the system`s hands even if innocent.