Significance Of Racism In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Imagine being stuck in a world where discrimination was relevant, hate was real, and white superiority existed. You live in that world. Harper Lee also lived in that world and survived it. The Scottsboro Boys Trial was a trial where innocent black boys were killed because they were accused and found guilty of raping white girls. Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, takes place during the 1930s in Maycomb, Alabama and is loosely based off of this trial and her life. She uses symbolism- a meaning attached to objects and people- to show that racism does exist during the 1930s and is still relevant today. In her novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses the symbolic significances of the Snowman, Fire, and the White Camellia to expose the ugly existence of white supremacy in the South during the Great Depression. First and foremost, Lee uses the creation of…show more content…
In To Kill A Mockingbird, Fire represents racism. During the winter, the night after the snowman was built, a flame began to burst from Miss Maudie’s house. It then spread to the Finch’s and Miss Rachel’s houses. Scout recounts, “The fire was well into the second floor and had eaten its way to the roof… smoke was rolling off our house and Miss Rachel’s house like fog off a riverbank…” (Lee 74). This quote not only shows Fire spreading from house to house but racism from person to person as if it were a murderous disease. As the year progresses, Scout and Jem visit Calpurnia’s church which is entirely black. Scout wants to visit Calpurnia's community again but Aunt Alexandra highly disapproves. Scout says, “Yessum, and she promised me that I could come out to her house some afternoon. Atticus, I’ll go next Sunday if it’s all right, can I? Cal said she’d come get me if you were off in the car.” Aunt Alexandra responds, “You may not.” (Lee 138). This quote shows racism spreading from generation to generation- as if it were
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