To Kill A Mockingbird Is Important To School Curriculum Essay

1074 Words5 Pages

Khushi Sherigar
Mr. Enyeart
Pre-AP English, Period 5
7 April 2023
Why To Kill a Mockingbird is Important to Schools Curriculum Should a white author use the n-word in a story discussing social issues such as racism be viewed as an opportunity to discuss them or as plain ignorance? This controversy came up due to Harper Lee’s using the n-word in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird (TKAM). In this story, two kids by the names of Jem and Scout tackle the excitement and obstacles of growing up in Alabama during the 1930s. They are exposed to the mass atrocities of racism and how it plays out in court. Although the history/meaning of the n-word is never discussed, due to how social issues such as racism and justice are discussed in the book, and how …show more content…

In the article by Madeline Will, a teacher states “This is the time when students make connections to today’s society and how little things have changed. This is the time for developing one’s opinions and perspectives about life” (qtd. in Will). In this, a teacher states that there are multiple similarities between the book and now. This is shown through main themes such as racism, justice, and classism. Noticing these similarities can inspire and help kids understand how society evolved. In TKAM, Atticus Finch notes “The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box” (Lee 220). In this excerpt, Atticus explains how Tom Robinson was wrongly found guilty by discussing the flaws in court. These flaws are still present today and are shown through how those falsely accused can still be found guilty and vice versa. Since he is explaining it to his young kids, the explanation is very easy to understand, allowing his kids to expand on his thinking. The social issues the book talks about help students realize the lack of differences between civilization today and back in the 1930s. But some people argue that the book does not showcase that …show more content…

In an article by David Gutman, a board member observed “And it never has a discussion of why that word is bad why it is hurtful or why it should not be used” (qtd. in Gutman). While the book never discusses why the word is bad, one thing that readers must keep in mind is the age and maturity of Scout. Scout is still a young child in early elementary school. If her father went in-depth and explained to her the history of the n-word, she may not have fully understood it. The n-word’s past is something that should be taught when a person is mature enough to fully understand it. As a young girl, all she should know is to not use that slur. Additionally, this allows for teachers to make sure that kids properly learn the importance of why they should not say it. In the novel, Jem and Scout wonder “If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other?” (Lee 227). In this excerpt, Jem and Scout are shown to be questioning how race affects relationships between people. Using the information that their dad gave them, at this moment they compare it to how people are treated and ponder about the logic behind it. Since Atticus did not go into detail about the history of the n-word, the kids were able to form their own insights which helps them understand the word

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