Despite race discrimination around the world, there are still people who overcome and persevere through these challenges - often at great risk to themselves. During the 1930s, in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, a small town called Maycomb held a trial against an innocent African American man accused of raping a Caucasian woman. The reader experiences life in Maycomb through the eyes of ten year old girl name Jean-Louise Finch, Scout. In this case, Atticus Finch, Scout’s father, was assigned to be the lawyer for the accused, Tom Robinson. However, Atticus has integrity and tries his best for Tom even if his own life is at risk.
Harper Lee touches upon many social issues in To Kill a Mockingbird. Among these issues is the matter of racism in America during the 1930s. This novel focused on the issue of racism through the case of Tom Robinson which conveyed the strong hostility towards African-Americans in Maycomb, Alabama. Other various occasions in the novel exhibit racism’s potential and influence in this country including Aunt Alexandra's disapproval of Calpurnia, and Mr. Dolphus Raymond’s hidden life. Through the results of these instances, Harper Lee shed a new light on racism and how it will always persist in America.
Tom Robinson is a black man who is wrongfully convicted of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell. This novel goes through Scout's life from when she was 6, till she is 9. She lives in the town of Maycomb Alabama, and lives an innocent life until about halfway through the story, where she begins to ask questions. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Scout shows the readers that racial inequality creates an unjust society through the African American community, through the people surrounding colored folks, and through Tom Robinson’s Case. The first example of the consequences of racial inequality is the African American community in Maycomb.
In the classical 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee depicts the social and racial inequality in southern American society during the 1930’s. Residing in Maycomb County, Atticus Finch and his two children, Scout and Jem, gain appreciation for tolerance as they encounter diverse characters such as Tom Robinson and Boo Radley. Told from Scout’s perspective of their adventures, Jem and Scout explore the prejudicial flaws of their community. The portrayal of a catalyst and prophet matches the personality of Jeremy “Jem” Atticus Finch; serving as the brother and friend of his sister Scout, Jem’s once innocent and naive world view is exposed to the less savory aspects of southern culture when his father takes on a case defending an African American man accused of rape. As the dehumanizing factors of institutionalized and widespread racial discrimination and prejudice become evident, Jem learns that empathy and human understanding are crucial in realizing full human potential.
Rajan Dosanjh Mrs. Haber ENG 1D0A January 18, 2017 To Kill A Mockingbird Theme Essay Discrimination is a societal issue which has been prevalent for a long time and still brings people down in today’s society. Discrimination can be defined by the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex (www.dictionary.com) Lee’s book To Kill a Mockingbird is based in a small town in Alabama called Maycomb where a man named Atticus Finch is appointed to defend a man named Tom Robinson who was accused of raping a teenage girl.
Imagine living during a time where you would be discriminated against and divided just because the color of your skin. In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, a black man named Tom Robinson was falsely accused of having raped a white woman and was not given a fair trial. The towns hatred towards black people have caused a prejudice to occur against him. The jury was made up of only white males who are biased against black people due to this prejudice. Tom has good morals, is noble, and a good-hearted human being.
Novelist Harper Lee, in her book To Kill a Mockingbird, depicts the racism and inequalities in the town of Maycomb by having a white man, Atticus Finch, defend Tom Robinson who was black. Lee’s purpose is to show the world is unfair between races and we need to have compassion for others. She adopts a serious tone to appeal to people’s morals to do the right the thing by those seeking changes for equality. Throughout his closing argument, Atticus ensures credibility, mentioning God, and by presenting evidence that Tom Robinson is not guilty but someone in the courtroom is, to explain Mayella’s reasoning to lie.
Despite racial inequalities in the South, Atticus sticks to his own morals and agrees to be the defending lawyer for Tom Robinson, a black man being accused of raping a white woman. Although Atticus’ defense in court was thorough and clearly proved Tom’s innocence, the jury was prejudiced towards black folks and convicted Tom as guilty. Nonetheless, Atticus is still a hero despite losing the case. He has the courage to stand up for what he believes in, fights with reason rather than guns, and has utmost determination, making him a hero despite being just an average human being. Ultimately, his thoughts and actions set the stage for major changes in the meaning of equality throughout Maycomb County, changing lives of numerous people.
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.
Lee uses Miss Gates’s ironic views of Hitler and Tom’s trial to show how racial prejudice causes crimes against African Americans to be considered less than crimes committed against white people. A mockingbird is then used to symbolize Tom Robinson as an innocent person wrongly convicted of a crime because of his skin color. The misunderstood characterization of Arthur Radley shows how society will let prejudice guide their imaginated view on the lives of people they don't understand. All three characters provide examples of how a preconceived opinion of one person or a whole race can cause drastic misunderstandings and
Tom Robinson was a kind and compassionate being. The only thing Tom was guilty of was that he “felt right sorry for [Mayella]” (264). Atticus stated, in the courtroom, that Mr. Robinson’s “case should have never come to trial” (271). Even all the evidence clearly shows that Tom Robinson is innocent, for example, Mayella Ewell was beaten on the right side of her face. Therefore, Mayella was “beaten savagely by someone who led almost exclusively with his left hand” (272).
Perceptions are often incorrect when one is unwilling to believe or does not have all of the facts. These inaccurate perceptions can lead to false accusations, which in turn can cause an immense amount of suffering. In the case of Tom Robinson, other’s perception of him and people of his race led to a false accusation against him. More specifically, the people of the Southern town of Maycomb perceived African Americans to be uneducated and untrustworthy, thereby declaring the Negroes as inferior to themselves. When Tom Robinson ran from the Ewell home upon the arrival of Bob Ewell, the unkempt and unreliable father of the alleged rape victim, it was assumed that Robinson had done something of suspicion.
Tom Robinson is a young African-American who's been accused of raping and abusing Mayella Ewell, a young and closeted white woman. Racial discrimination is hinted throughout Tom’s trial as Atticus Finch explains to Jem that a white man’s word will always win over that of a black man’s - "... In our courts, when it's a white man's word against a black man's, the white man always wins. They're ugly, but those are the facts of life" (220). Atticus explains to Jem that in the courts of Maycomb, a black man’s state of innocence or guilt is truly determined by a white man’s testimony.
“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”(Lee 30). These are the words of Atticus Finch, the wisest character in the famous novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. He is a fictional man that embodies human traits that all people should strive to emulate. In the novel; narrated by Atticus’ daughter Jean Louise Finch, more often referred to as Scout; Atticus defends a black man, Tom Robinson, who has been accused of raping a white female, Mayella Ewell. The main message of the text is the prominence of racial injustice, specifically in the 1930’s, the era the novel takes place in.
In To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee teaches us about the town of Maycomb County during the late 1930s, where the characters live in isolation and victimization. Through the perspective of a young Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, readers will witness the prejudice that Maycomb produces during times where people face judgement through age, gender, skin colour, and class, their whole lives. Different types of prejudice are present throughout the story and each contribute to how events play out in the small town of Maycomb. Consequently, socially disabling the people who fall victim from living their life comfortably in peace. Boo Radley and his isolation from Maycomb County, the racial aspects of Tom Robinson, and the decision Atticus Finch makes as a lawyer, to defend a black man has all made them fall in the hands of Maycomb’s prejudice ways.