To Kill A Mockingbird And Racism

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Racism has been a societal issue for many years in the past, and although we are taking steps in the right direction, there will probably be racism for the rest of the human race’s existence. This is represented in the town of Maycomb in the novel To Kill A Mockingbird, which took place in a heightened time of racial division and discrimination. Racism is a huge issue that influences many aspects of society, such as work, family, and class. Harper Lee portrays the theme of racism in To Kill a Mockingbird through the speech and actions of her characters and imaginative symbolism. Aunt Alexandra and Francis are characters that think they are more worthy because they are white. During Atticus, Jem, and Scout’s visit to Atticus’s parent’s house …show more content…

Jem, however, is considerate and offers to take the bag. This may be because he was raised a gentleman, or it could be his subtle way of telling Aunt Alexandra that Calpurnia is not just a servant in their household. Aunt Alexandra and Francis are not the only racist characters, but they are an accurate representation of the casual racism that is prevalent in To Kill A Mockingbird. Symbolism used to represent racism in To Kill A Mockingbird, though it is disguised and could be easily overlooked as just another seemingly random detail in the story. However, Harper Lee rarely used details without a reason, and the mad dog is a prime example. The sick looking dog was spotted by Scout and Jem, who raced home to tell Calpurnia. After a while, the sheriff and Atticus were notified of the situation and both arrived on the scene. This is when Atticus is given a gun by Mr. Heck Tate and told “‘this is a one-shot job’” (Lee, 126). Atticus had been known as a one-shot wonder in his younger years, which is why Heck was trusting him to take the shot. Atticus walked quickly towards Tim Johnson, the mad dog, and successfully kills him …show more content…

The actions and words of overly righteous characters and the symbolism Harper Lee was able to sneak into many details taught a lesson on racism, whether the reader realized it or not. The racist views and thoughts portrayed in the book are from real experiences Harper Lee had in the South, proving just how messed up human judgement can be. Racism is still very present in today’s society, and although it is not nearly as obvious as it is in To Kill A Mockingbird, there are major issues regarding race affecting people of color’s everyday lives. In an article by Pew Research, it is shown that white men earned the most per hour on average out of white, black, Hispanic, and Asian men and women, aside from Asian men (Patten). Black men earn only 71% of what white men do, and black women earn a measly 62% of what white men do (Patten). These numbers differ not only between gender, but between race. The sexism and racism in our modern day society, although often unspoken, can majorly affect people’s lives, determining their wages, jobs, and class. There are many movements and efforts to curb discrimination, but human nature is to judge based on appearance, which is what we will do for the rest of our

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