preview

How Does Harper Lee Present Some Of The Problems She Changed American Society?

Decent Essays
How does Harper Lee present some of the problems she saw in American society?

In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee presents many issues she saw as a child in the 1930’s Southern states in America. Throughout the story she speaks about the Great Depression which eventually leads to the poverty presented quite heavily through the characters. Harper Lee has also managed to include the racial divide she saw as a child too. The author discusses the racism issues the way she saw them whilst growing up and is brutally honest with the language she is using. The novel is set post slavery, but highlights the tension and discrimination surrounding coloured people.
The main issue that is brought up in the novel is race; Harper Lee demonstrates this problem she saw quite heavily with a sympathetic, yet honest approach. In Chapter 19, on page 201, we see Atticus question Tom Robinson about raping Mayella Ewell in the trial. After explaining his side of the story Tom then says ‘Mr Finch, if you was a nigger like me you’d be scared too.’ This quote alone gives the idea of the inequality of race, how inferior blacks/coloured people were to the whites. The author uses her own experiences of what happened and what she was as a child. The fact that this quote from Tom simply says that he is scared can make the reader feel sympathetic and can even lead to the reader empathising too.
A following point of Racism appears on page 252 when Atticus talks to Jem and Scout about the trial
Get Access