Theme Of Racism In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Working Title In her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee exemplifies the theme of racism and how it impaired and blemished the citizens of Maycomb County. One figure that Lee uses to represent racism is the “mad dog,” Tim Johnson. When Tim went out of control and became absurd and perilous to Maycomb County, every character in the novel knew that something had to be done about it. Like Tim, racism can and will eventually get out of control. When Atticus shot and killed Tim, this portrays as if Atticus is killing racism as a whole. After Atticus had killed Tim, Miss Maudie told Jem and Scout “I think maybe he [Atticus] put his gun down when he realized that God had given him an unfair advantage over most living things. I guess he decided he wouldn’t shoot till he had to, and he had to today,” (Lee 98). This quotation shows that Atticus did shoot Tim. However, when delving deeper into this excerpt, it suggests as if Atticus decided that now was the time to stop a threat to Maycomb County. He used this “unfair advantage” in order to strike down a hazard, symbolizing that Atticus was striking down and finishing off racism. This shows that when faced with a menace like racism, people should use everything that they have to wipe out the peril before it gets out of control, before it becomes so ravenous and deadly like Tim Johnson became. Another motif that Lee uses to depict racism are mockingbirds and bluejays. Atticus describes how bluejays are vicious and how they create
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