Perception defines the world around you. It affects every aspect of your being: your thoughts, actions, beliefs, etc… In the novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, Jean Louise “Scout” Finch begins to understand just how impactful perception can be as she witnesses the deterioration of the dignity of Tom Robinson, a black man who is being tried for the rape of a white girl. In this intriguing read, Harper Lee demonstrates the theme of inaccurate allegations very effectively. More specifically, when inaccurate allegations that are solely based on perceptions are presented, the consequences can be significant, for others may suffer at great lengths.
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.
This essay aims to investigate the literary context of Harper Lee 's To Kill A Mockingbird (1960) from four different perspectives. The scope of this essay does not only include the context from historical, cultural and social points of views, but also the significance of Lee 's early life is considered. The essay explores deeply the novel 's events, characters and main themes, which can all be related to the literary context. This is why the research question of this essay is “A Study of Literary Context in Harper Lee 's To Kill A Mockingbird”.
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.
To Kill a Mockingbird is an important text worthy of all the recognition it received in the time following its original publication. A prime piece of fine American literature based in a period of extreme racial segregation and inequality. Set in a southern town of Maycomb Alabama during the depression, Lee follows three years of the life of eight-year-old Scout (Jean Louise) Finch and her older brother Jem (Jeremy) Finch as their father is, for three years, a fundamental figure in a case that had punctured the town as a result of the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man. As the years commence/continue, Scout and Jem, alongside the audience grow increasingly aware of prejudice throughout society as they learn the importance of perspective and being courageous when faced with adversity. By illustrating the influence of prejudice on society, Harper Lee challenges the perspectives of society, criticizing the nature of humankind to stereotype and be prejudice towards one another and in doing so, she successfully convinces the author to look beyond the facade society creates and locate the humanity that is concealed within everybody.
Injustice is found in the town of Maycomb during Tom’s court case. He is brought before court accused of committing an appalling crime, even though clear evidence and facts have been
When discovered she covers her guilt and shame by accusing him of rape. In this era and in this community, Mayella’s accusation is seen as reasonable and unfortunately believable, which leaves Tom beaten before he enters the trial. However, Atticus expresses a powerful message in his closing argument to create a move for change in his society. The argument is expressed subliminally, by communicating that in the 1930’s society disregarded that all were equal, and categorised men and women based on the colour of their skin.
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
He does a commendable job of avoiding prejudicial tropes of the era and does not demonize the drugs themselves, noting that the drug “was neither diabolical nor divine” (63). By outlining the physical, psychological, and social effects of addiction, Stevenson presents a realistic portrayal of this problem without demonizing the person suffering from addiction, and in couching as a metaphor he successfully avoids exploiting addicts as well. The narrative, especially at the time of its publication, was suspenseful, terrifying, and enthralling, and though these elements may not have aged well as the work seems rather tame by today’s standards, the story of addiction has only increased in
Literature can be analyzed with many different critical lenses. While analyzing To Kill a Mockingbird, one may use a critical lens to recognize the different ideas throughout the novel. Harper Lee’s novel demonstrates her perspective on intolerance and discrimination within the early twentieth century. Firstly, intolerance of people who are different is very prevalent within the novel.
Finally, as the book comes to conclusion Tom Robinson, a black man, is pleaded quilty with the charge of raping a white women. Throughout the novel, it was proven all he was trying to do and aiming for was to help a young girl. People in society gain the evil assumption that all black men and women aren 't equal to those of a different race. A part in the novel that proves how intolerable the society is; on page 242, "A white man 's word, against a black man 's word, the white man always wins" (Lee). This quote shows how the main reason Tom was guilty was due to the color of his skin.
Boo was sentenced from an early age to be a “monster” of sorts due to his past dealings with the law and his time spent in solitary confinement. This story that is invented by the people of Maycomb alters Boo Radley’s true appearance greatly, deeming him to be something he is
Race has always been a part of history, from slavery to MLK, to Barack Obama. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee defines race in the south during the 1930’s. Jean “Scout” Finch, is the narrator of the story. Her brother Jeremy “Jem” and her dad, Atticus, are both main characters. Calpurnia is their house cook and helper, she is also black. 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.
In Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee presents a large social atmosphere that includes many different cultures and extremes. The story takes place in the southern town of Maycomb, Alabama during the Great Depression. This novel illustrates how the southerners perceived different ideas about each other and social norms. It is told through the eyes of a young girl, Scout Finch, as she is growing up and becoming influenced by societal attitudes. Throughout the course of this book Scout learns many lessons including: how a society functions, why there is conflict between different cultures, and what makes cultures different from each other. Harper Lee utilizes functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism to convey how
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.