Racism And Privilege In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

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To Kill A Mockingbird is a famous novel by Harper Lee, portraying a stereotypical southern town. Lee depicts Maycomb, a town full of complex characters, to illustrate privilege and its advantages in society. As a result, Lee demonstrates race’s relevance to southern society. Considering the relationship between the court case in the novel and real life, the reader forms many connections between the characters and their opinions on the case. Furthermore, the African American defendant in the case, Tom Robinson, allows the audience to comprehend systemic racism and other prejudices. And as the reader “climb[s] into [Tom Robinson’s] skin and walk[s] around in it" (Lee 39), the involvement of race and privilege in society is revealed. Lee highlights the unfairness of Maycomb’s community by emphasizing race’s major part in Tom’s trial. The trial helps the reader understand Tom’s circumstances by using irony. That irony is that “[in the] courts, all men are [supposedly] created equally" (Lee 274). If this is true, then the verdict would have …show more content…

Being at the top of the hierarchy gives advantages that those at the bottom do not get. This is blatantly unfair. Tom Robinson is at the bottom of the pyramid and not considered equal in a courtroom full of white people. All of Tom’s experiences as a Black man in the book relate to all of the other African American men who were victims of weaponized privilege. When looking through Tom’s eyes, the audience perceives that the trial itself is unnecessary, considering that the decision is made before the jury gives the verdict. Prejudice in both society and court creates an unfair balance between people with different identities. Readers can gain insight into racism's effects on people and their opinions by placing themselves "into [Tom Robinson's] skin" (Lee

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