How Does Harper Lee Present Racial Issues During the 1930s in the Novel ‘to Kill a Mockingbird’?

846 Words Dec 27th, 2010 4 Pages
Harper lee has presented racism in the novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by describing how blacks live and are treated harshly. The court case of Tom Robinson, which is the main part of the story is a metaphor that Harper Lee has created of the situation in the 1960 's. Things were not stable at the time and Tom 's case is just one example of the racial discrimination the blacks were facing during this time.
The racial tension in the 1930s was so serious that even when blacks did do well, they were still mocked. An example is when Aunt Alexandra said, “Jem 's growing up now and you are too. We decided that it would be best for you to have some feminine influence.” Calpurnia was a female however Aunt Alexandra still over-looked this, because
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African Americans were the primary target of most racist acts in the 1930s. Blacks suffered harsher conditions and were forced off their lands and farms. Robert Ewell is one of the worst racists who abuses everything about the blacks and what they own. He explains how worthless they are when he says Tom Robinson: “lived down yonder in that nigger-nest.” This shows how Blacks were seen as inferior and substandard compared to the whites of Maycomb. The whites who have their minds set about colour of the skin is destroying people’s relations and causing the situation and political stability to worsen. Furthermore, the whites compare the black area as a 'nest ' showing how immoral they are and how low they put the blacks.
Racism portrayed in the novel can also draw out the worst in many, while it can also bring out the darkness in people’s hearts. As Atticus states: “a place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any colour of the rainbow. People have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box.” The quote clearly explains that even the justice system was influenced by racial discrimination in the 1930s even if it was breaking the law. The concept of racism is further explored when part of the town acts unfriendly towards Atticus, because he defended Tom. Atticus is seen as a “nigger – lovin’ bastard” by the
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