Hypocrisy In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

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To Kill A Mockingbird Theme
April 2, 2015
Racism affects everyone, especially children in their stages of growing up. Everyday, they have to grasp onto conservative ideas society displays all around, and with their limited understanding, the children then have to interprets these ideas on their own. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee portrays the idea of young characters struggling in a racist environment during the Great Depression, to get past the community’s hidden hypocrisy in Maycomb, Alabama. Lee, growing up in a small county in Alabama during 1930s observed racism and watched it happen under the hypocrisy of her society. The society in Maycomb, Alabama during the Great Depression can relate to many societies today, holding insights
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Lee uses the view of young children growing up to crack society’s hypocrisy during their young stages while realizing the racism occurring around them. Through the symbolism of the mockingbird, first person narration of Scout, and the character development of Jem, Harper Lee portrays how racism awakens one’s innocence to the truth of society’s hypocrisy. Lee skillfully expresses her strong feelings using the symbolism of the mockingbird to portray the idea of innocence fading under a racist environment to unleash society’s hypocrisy. The mockingbird in To Kill a Mockingbird represents innocence that is shown repeatedly throughout the book. A mockingbird, symbolizing innocence, shouldn’t be harmed or killed as Miss Maudie explained, “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (119) The killing of a mockingbird is also used in the title, To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee uses the mockingbird as a way to show that one can kill a…show more content…
After Scout finished a class with Ms. Gates when Ms. Gates was explaining how Hitler was cruel and brutal. She further elaborated on how Hitler was different than the US, because “we don’t believe in persecuting anybody” (329). Scout was frustrated; she was unable to relate Ms. Gates reasoning to racism and violence against African Americans in the US after the persecution of Tom Robinson. Scout question society’s hypocrisy, when she asked Jem, “Jem, how can you hate Hitler so bad an’ then turn around and be ugly about folks right at home-” (331). Scout began to realize society’s hypocrisy, when they disagree with Hitler but persecute African Americans unfairly. She realized after the racism in the Tom Robinson trial eliminated her innocence to the sensitive topic. Scout’s innocence and childhood myths about Boo Radley slowly faded away along with the Tom Robinson trial. Boo Radley saved Scout’s life when Bob Ewell came after her and Jem with a knife. Scout explained that Boo Radley couldn’t have been murdered, because, “ Well it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it?” (370). Scout connected the Tom Robinson case and Bob Ewell’s hypocrisy. Boo Radley was innocent and didn’t deserve to die. Scout’s character development throughout the book was also reflected in Jem’s
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