Examples Of Jim Crow Laws In To Kill A Mockingbird

1477 Words6 Pages
“Scout, I’m beginning to understand something. I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time . . . it’s because he wants to stay inside” (Lee 304). Jem said this to Scout after the final decision of the trial was made, and Jem was seeing what the world is really like. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is about a girl named Scout living through the Great Depression and witnessing a trial against a black man accused of raping a white woman. Jim Crow laws, mob mentality, and racism were all things common in the book, and in real life at the time. The first connection to America’s actual history is the presence of Jim Crow laws in To Kill A Mockingbird. In history, the Jim Crow laws were not a good thing. Jim Crow laws were laws that belittled African Americans and made them seem lesser than white people. An example of a Jim Crow law would be that African American people could not be buried in the same cemetery as a white person when they died. Black children could also not learn in the same environment as white children. If anyone broke these laws, there were punishments. As said in the “What is Jim Crow?” article, if a teacher taught both black and white children, they could be fined. If an African American broke these laws, they could risk their families, jobs, and even their lives (Pilgrim 4). In To Kill A Mockingbird, the people in the fictional city Maycomb, Alabama abide by the Jim Crow laws. Scout witnessed some of these laws throughout the book. During the trial against Tom Robinson, Mr. Gilmer attempted to imply that Tom was saying Mayella was lying (Lee 294) which is strictly against a Jim Crow law. When Scout was in school, she did not go to school with black children because it was not allowed. There was examples of Jim Crow etiquette in To Kill A Mockingbird. All African American characters in the book referred to the white characters with courtesy titles like Miss or Sir because it was expected of them and considered disrespectful and rude. Another example is when Atticus and Calpurnia are going to tell Helen Robinson about her husband’s death, Calpurnia is sitting in the backseat of Atticus’s car (Lee 321), as was expected of any colored person in
Open Document