There are many destructive forces in this world, one of them being racism, the most powerful prejudice in society, as seen by Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. This small town in the 1930’s, during the Great Depression presents numerous examples of racism and its negative repercussions. As illustrates in the novel, racism is displayed in a variety of ways throughout the novel, however it is most present in the case of Tom Robinson’s trial, the prejudice that is displayed by the citizens of Maycomb, and the state of Calpurnia’s Church.
The most apparent victim of racism in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is Tom Robinson, the black man who is accused of raping Mayella Ewell. Falsely accused of the crime by Mayella and her father Bob Ewell, …show more content…
During the 1930’s this situation would not be uncommon at all but looking at the situation from the perspective of modern times, this is a clear illustration of racism and its repercussions in action. Additionally, when Tom was sentences to jail time, he had tried to escape. When Atticus found out he told Calpurnia the news, hoping she would help break it to aunt Alexandra. When they were discussing what had happened, Atticus said, “I guess Tom was tired of white men 's chances and preferred to take his own.” (Lee 315). It is clearly seen that the effects of racial prejudices on the trial led to Tom trying to escape in hopes of being free, which resulted in his death, all because of the colour of his skin. Atticus says in this quote that Tom would rather risk escaping than being around the white men that profile him negatively because of his race. Although we as the readers knew Tom was innocent, Atticus’ best efforts were not enough to persuade the jury to overlook the prejudice they have formed against the black population.
The prejudice in this novel shows greatly that people were solely judged on only what people saw, and not the truth. Boo Radley is a victim of prejudice. Boo Radley is not accepted nor does he fit into Maycomb society because he is different from others. In society, his actions are mysterious and abnormal. Boo Radley isolates himself from the people of Maycomb, he stays inside his
The act of prejudice is one that everyone experiences. Whether it be, a person who is distributing hate, or a person who is receiving hate, everyone has contact with it. Although it is present all over the globe, it is prominent in the United States. Both in the present and the past, endless acts of discrimination have taken place and left a monumental impact on the country. The effect that it leaves can be seen in the novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. In this story, sexism, racism, and isolation, are demonstrated in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama during the 1930’s. As the story progresses, Lee compares these concepts to one another and uses them to make a statement about the problematic nature in America.
Tom Robinson’s character exemplifies the mockingbird because he is a black man who is denied justice based on racial prejudice. After Mayella Ewell accuses Tom of rape, there is no way for him to be judged fairly because the narrow-minded, white townspeople are unable to get past their prejudices towards blacks. At his trial, Tom’s lawyer, Atticus, argues,
During the 1930’s depression, there was a great divide between black and white America. There were many communities and groups who had been exposed to the same treatment and persecution as the Negroes in To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee has used a small town setting, such as that in To Kill a Mockingbird, to illustrate America’s views on white supremacy and the inferiority of the black race. The author has illustrated view that are expressed world-wide through her characters in Maycomb county.
Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, is a realistic story that deeply discusses issues involved with the 1930’s that still resonate today. The struggles of life are evident within the believable characters of Maycomb County which is a microcosm, reflective of universal issues. Along with the authentic characters, setting and style also helps to convey Lee’s controversial notions of racial and gender prejudice, and persecution of the innocent, discussing many other ideas within.
When Tom Robinson was in the courtroom for trial, he was prejudiced for his background. Prejudice is shown against Tom, “In our courts, when it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s the white man always wins” (Lee, 295). Prejudice is shown with Tom Robinson against Bob Ewell in the courtroom because his skin color is black. Tom Robinson is symbolic for mockingbird because he has the quality of empathy for helping out others. Tom Robinson helped Mayella by, “He tried to help her… did all this for not one penny… I felt sorry for her she seemed to try more’n the rest of em” (Lee, 264).
Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird shows us how one small, peaceful, southern town during the Great Depression can be engulfed in hatred, racism, and prejudice unseen by the outside world. In this seemingly quiet town in the middle of Alabama, people are forced to live by racist ideals that their families have carried on for generations. Although the citizens of Maycomb believe they are right and just, their prejudices overtake their human conscious when the time comes for them ‘to do the right thing.’ They truly believe that they are a kind community of Christians who live by the words of the Bible. While Maycomb includes all folks who think the same way as they do, they ban those who think differently or are from an ‘inferior’ race. Therefore, Boo Radley, Dolphus Raymond, and Mayella Ewell stand outside the structure of respectable Maycomb society, in some cases as the result of their own doing and in some, as the result of being forced out by others.
In the book To Kill a Mockingbird we learn that Atticus is defending a black man named Tom Robinson in court. Tom Later reveals during the trial that he helped Mayella Ewell, the girl that is accusing him for raping and beating her, with a couple of household chores and states that he "felt sorry for her" (Lee 264) because "she seemed to try more'n the rest of 'em" (Lee 264) This showing of empathy from Tom Robinson brought his ultimate downfall when he was convicted by a full jury of whites even though she was made a liar when she was questioned by Atticus. The jury stubbornly believed that her word was better than Tom's because she was
Again it is shown in the trial. The book says, “‘The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box,’” (220). When in court, the ideal is that there will be no bias and that everyone will say the truth. But again, humans are not perfect, so these expectations cannot always be reached. In the trial almost didn’t matter what the conditions of the order, because of the judgment towards black people. Tom was seen as guilty anyway. One of humans most primordial instincts is to survive, and to do that you have to look out for yourself. Humans are generally very selfish and tends to do things only if it benefits them. This can be seen in trials like these because the judges and many other white weren’t able to see past their own hate towards
In To Kill a Mockingbird, a novel by Harper Lee, a young and hardworking African American is accused of raping a white women. To Kill a Mockingbird is about two young children going through their journey to adulthood, Jem and Scout. Jem and Scout’s dad, a lawyer, is appointed to defend Tom Robinson in a court case that cannot be won because of the prejudice of those in the jury. Mayella Ewell, the women he is accused of raping, is a young woman who has had hardly any interactions with others and has a good heart despite her being part of the Ewell household. Mayella Ewell is worthy of compassion but not at the cost of Tom Robinson’s life despite her economic, social, and familial difficulties.
Tom Robinson lives in Maycomb, Alabama a white community with a deep root of racism entangled in its infrastructure. He was subjected to a prejudiced jury which violated court procedures but was nevertheless allowed because the defendant was black. Harper Lee challenges set race outlines and prejudices by highlighting the everyday restrictions and discrimination Tom Robinson faces, reiterating the fundamental grasp that race held over the judgmental society of Maycomb and the southern United States. During the 1930’s, the black perspective in any situation was trumped by any assumption formed by a white person.
Throughout the book, a number of characters can be identified as mockingbirds, innocents who have been injured or destroyed through contact with evil. One of these characters is Tom Robinson, a black man who is shot when attempting to escape jail. He was falsely accused of raping Mayella Ewell by her father, a white man, Bob Ewell. Bob was trying to give him and his family a better reputation by imprisoning a “filthy nigger.” Because of the prejudice of the court in Maycomb, Robinson was found guilty for a crime he never committed. He was sent to jail and was shot, no less than ___
During the Great Depression, racism was a common practice in the southern states of the US. Negros and those who opposed the intolerance were often discriminated by the rest of the bias and ignorant society, who believed in white supremacy and superiority over the other races. Maycomb, a racist town, exemplify this discrimination, imperiously judging others they view as being dissimilar from themselves. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, the author, weaves a brilliant story of prejudice, discrimination, and racism shown through the novel’s several characters and events, producing a mirror reflection of America’s racist society in the 1930’s.
In the novel “To kill a mocking bird” by Harper Lee the theme of racism and prejudice are used to comment on the society of Maycomb in 1930’s. I am going to discuss the ideas of oppression of Tom Robinson because of his race, the prejudice against Boo Radly that grew the spread of rumours within Maycomb and Atticus the moral compass of Maycomb.
“‘Mr. Ewell?...Why, Atticus said they were absolute trash-I never heard Atticus talk about folks the way he talked about the Ewells,’” Scout says talking to Reverend Sykes about the court case (Lee 164). In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Mr. Ewell is a citizen of Maycomb, Alabama who is looked down upon in the town. In everyone’s eyes he is the worst citizen and should not be trusted, but there is one group of people that is hated more and that is the African-Americans. Mr. Ewell accuses a black man, Tom Robinson, of raping his daughter Mayella. He wins the court case due to the racism in the town, even though it is obvious that Tom did not do it. Who actually hurt Mayella was Mr. Ewell because he saw Mayella kiss Tom. A white woman
Racism is an ongoing force that negatively impacts the lives of Americans every day. The racist mindset in America stems from the times of slavery, where blacks were thought to be inferior to whites. Throughout history, the ideology of race and racism has evolved and developed several different meanings. Today, we can still see the devastating effects of racism on people of color, as well as whites. “Racism, like other forms of oppression, is not only a personal ideology based on racial prejudice, but a system involving cultural messages and institutional policies and practices as well as beliefs and actions of individual” (Tatum, pg. 9). As a result of this system, it leaves the