Anylizing Concepts of Justice in to Kill a Mockingbird

1660 Words Aug 21st, 2008 7 Pages
Analyzing the Concept of Justice in "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Through the study this term of the central text, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and related texts, films Rabbit Proof Fence by Phillip Noyce and In the Name of the Father by Jim Sheridan, my understanding of the concept of justice, or what constitutes justice, has altered considerably. We all think we know what justice is, or what it should be. In Australian colloquial terms, it is the principle of a “fair go” for everyone. In a perfect world, everyone is treated fairly. No-one is subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, sex or disability. But the reality is that the world we inhabit is far from perfect, human beings are by their very natures
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For him, like many other real-life Negroes in American history, the principles underpinning political, social and criminal justice failed. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus’ belief that, “in our courts all men are created equal,” ( p. 209) makes a complete mockery of the judicial system. The recent Australian film, Rabbit Proof Fence, similarly condemns the social, political and cultural mores of colonial and post-colonial Australia in relation to its past treatment of indigenous Australians. Like To Kill a Mockingbird, it too, is set in the 1930’s and reflects similar attitudes and values whites have to black people. The film is a true story based on the book by Doris Pilkington Garimara, the daughter of one of the half-caste children in the film who, together with two other Aboriginal girls, was forcibly removed from her family in Jigalong, Western Australia. These children form part of what is now known as the “Stolen Generation”. They, like many others who lived in the first part of the 20th century, were the victims of the official government assimilationist policy which decreed that half-caste children should be taken from their families and their land in order to be made “white”. The policy was definitely aimed at “breeding out” Aboriginality, because only half and quarter caste children were taken. Like Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird, the three girls, Molly, Daisy and Gracie are wrongfully imprisoned, discriminated against because of