Harper Lee 's Kill A Mocking Bird

Decent Essays
‘Most blacks are unable to speak English well. They cannot conjugate verbs. They have a poor grasp of verb tenses. They have a limited vocabulary. They cannot speak without swearing. Many, when they testify, show a complete lack of empathy and are unable to conceal a morality based on the satisfaction of immediate, base needs. Most jurors are white and are appalled by the demeanor of uneducated, criminal blacks '.

The prevalent attitudes of the American Public in the 1930 's are brazenly conveyed in this quote. Black people were viewed as the epitome of moral, physical and mental ugliness and were ‘expected to be ' uneducated and wholly beneath white citizens. Although this mindset was fundamentally unavoidable for many at that time,
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Lee also presents the problems she witnessed through her Bildungsroman style narrative, allowing Scout 's maturity and morality to align with her conclusion to reject racial discrimination.

Harper Lee presents the problem of racism specifically in the trial of Tom Robinson- a black man unfairly convicted of rape by Mayella Ewell, Robert Ewell 's daughter. The courtroom setting entitles the reader to identify an extensive range of characters, with varying social statuses, backgrounds and idiosyncrasies, representing a complete society itself. The heavy use of dialogue and symbolism throughout the trial also enables the reader to view other 's predispositions of black people, as well as Scout 's detached insight into the case as a young girl, and her reflection of it as a woman, creating a contemplative chapter. When Tom is responding questions asked by Judge Taylor, Atticus and Mr. Gilmer, he explains that Mayella approached him, causing him to flee as he was scared. Tom stated, 'No suh, she- she hugged me. She hugged me round the waist '. Here, Tom 's use of 'suh ' displays his conditioned response when generally conversing with white people. The accent representation on the vowel also shows the differentiation between white and black at the time; 'uh ' is lower and more rounded, darker than 'ir ', a
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