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.
In a movie, music sets the tone and mood and also gets the watcher’s attention also have different emotions. To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in the 1930s’ during the Great Depression. The main character Scout Finch has a father named Atticus Finch. He is a lawyer who decides to take a case involving a black man named Tom Robinson who is being accused of sexually assaulting a white girl named Mayella Ewell. Mayella Ewell comes from a poor family who is viewed in the Maycomb society as “white trash.” The Finch family has to face harsh criticism in the heavily racist Maycomb because of Atticus decision to help Tom.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of the most famous books ever written. It is about Scout Finch and her brother Jem Finch. Scout and Jem live in Maycomb County, Alabama in the 1930s, where racism is everywhere. Scout and Jem have adventures in their town with their friend Charles Baker “Dill” Harris, which include harassing Boo Radley, the neighborhood freak, and dealing with their proper Aunt Alexandra. When a black man named Tom Robinson is accused by Bob Ewell of beating and raping his daughter Mayella, Scout and Jem’s dad Atticus, who is a lawyer, defends him.
Scout is faced with racism and hypocrisy in the town as her father defends an African American man who has been accused of raping a white girl. The main setting in the story “To Kill a Mockingbird” is Maycomb County, Alabama. It takes place in the 1930’s. Maycomb is a “tired old town” (Lee 6) during the Great Depression. The streets “turned to red slop” in the rain, and “grass grew on the sidewalks” (6).
In the aftermath of Tom’s attempted escape from prison, which eventually led to his death, “Maycomb was interested by the news of Tom’s death for perhaps two days,” (240) as it was “typical of a nigger’s mentality to have no plan, no thought for the future, just run the blind first chance he saw” (240). The author’s application of this description distinctly portrayed how Maycomb’s warped perspective of Tom’s death was achieved through the racism that inspired many to believe all African Americans were stereotypical criminals and in Tom’s case it was no different. Critically, Maycomb’s prejudice shines through in this description of its lack of sympathy towards an innocent African American’s death and highlights ignorance as an alarming after effect of racism. Before the court had begun to issue its final verdict, ““Atticus had used every tool available in court to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men’s hearts Atticus had no case” (241) as “in our courts, when it’s a white man’s words against a black man’s, the white man always wins,” (220). The author’s description of the court’s ruling was definite and expected because as Atticus explained, society is biased, therefore the court of all white men were always partisan towards voting in favor of a white man without allowing any arguments against him to sway them.
In an overarching summary, Stevenson begins with the story of Walter McMillan, a young black man who is put on trial for murdering an 18-year old white woman named Ronda Morrison. The chapters often alternates between narrating McMillan’s trial and his journey towards justice. Stories of other wrongfully persecuted individuals are recounted as well, with one case being that of a 14-year old boy named Charlie who was sentenced to life in prison for killing his mother’s abusive boyfriend. These two cases will be further discussed later. To begin, the first chapter, titled Mockingbird Players, starts with Stevenson, who had already been an established member of the bar (American Bar Association), in both Georgia and Alabama.
Homer Plessy correlates with Christmas, because he was an “octoroon”, meaning he was one-eighth black by descent (Wittenberg 148). Christmas struggled with his racial identity throughout the novel. Faulkner highlights his appearance as both black and white: “He watched his body grow white out of the darkness like a Kodak print emerging from the liquid.” (Faulkner 46) This allows the reader to empathize with Christmas with his continuous struggle to interpret how he identifies himself. Along with the internal conflict, Christmas also faced an external conflict with Jefferson’s townspeople. Since he was a child, he experienced racial slurs and discrimination, which demonstrated the emotional abuse he experienced.
Plessy v Ferguson 1896 June 7, 1892 Homer Plessy boarded a Louisiana train and as a black man chose to sit in the whites-only car. This was not the first time a black person broke the law to try to change it nor would it be the last. It was a particularly memorable incident because the term “separate but equal” came about and there was a negative impact on the lives of black Americans for many decades. Plessy was arrested for violating the Separate Car Act of 1890 and with the help of the Comite` des Citoyens, he hoped to change the world for black citizens in the United States. Unfortunately, John Howard Ferguson, then, later the United States Supreme Court got in Plessy’s way.
In the article Scottsboro Boys and To Kill a Mockingbird: Two Trials for the Classroom it stated that, “The lessons of the infamous 1930s Scottsboro Boys case in which two young white women wrongfully accused nine African American youths of rape illustrate through fact what Harper Lee tried to instruct through her fiction”. (Scottsboro) Black people were always accused by white people of crimes they did not do and the judge will always believe the whites. Blacks were considered criminals, that was one of the main reasons why Lee wrote her book; she felt that things should be changed and blacks should have a voice. Blacks did not feel that they live in their country, they needed help to make their voice heard; some of the white writers helped them to fight for their rights, that was mentioned in the article To Kill a Mockingbird: Two Trials for the Classroom“Both historical and fictional trials express the courage required to stand up for the Constitutional principle providing for equal justice to all under the law.”(Scottsboro) This quote shows that fictional
The Portrayal of ‘Relative Justice’ in To Kill a Mockingbird The correlation of justice and prejudice dwell as a perpetuating conflict in the United States. Case in point is racism, which is deeply analyzed on the 1960 Pulitzer-awarded novel, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee focalizes this novel upon the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man charged by the rape of a white girl, Mayella Ewell. Racial prejudice is thoroughly presented in the novel, but what originally transpired as discrimination evolves into an inferno of injustice, particularly in the debasement and death of one of the ‘Mockingbirds,’ the impoverishment of his family, and the humiliation of his race. The whole novel is presented by the protagonist, Scout, as a tomboyish naive adult retrospectively recalling her early ages.