The Civil Rights Movement In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

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Although the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, took place in the 1930s, it ties closely into the Civil Rights Movement. This novel displayed the obvious superiority whites had over blacks. It took place during a time when colored people faced discrimination, prejudice, and racism. When the book was published in the 1960s, it made whites furious, resulting in a lot of controversy. Harper Lee had a goal when writing, she wanted to show the relation between actual events that happened during the civil rights and incorporate it into her own novel to show how cruel colored people were treated, specifically when whites accused blacks of doing sinful acts. Harper Lee’s purpose was to show that race doesn’t define anything. In the novel, Miss Maudie says, “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (90). Mockingbirds symbolize innocence, they don’t harm nor are they evil, same as most blacks that were falsely judged during that time. In addition, Lee wanted people to realize that color aside, they’re all human, “I cry about the hell white people give colored folks, without even stopping to think that they’re people, too.” (201). She stressed the idea that if all differences were pushed away then in the end they are all the same, they are all people, no one is above one another. During the trial,
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