Theme Of Racism In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Harper Lee’s most famous novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, has become a renowned piece of American literature in both regard for its best moments and worst depictions. Some have stated that the novel tells a true story about the basic aspects of human nature whereas others have argued about its childishness and ‘sugar-coated’ painting of the South. In truth, To Kill a Mockingbird is still relevant because it exemplifies a novel that is intertwined with the workings of today and its society, not only for its surface image of racism, but also for its undercurrents of prejudice and human nature within everyone.

Despite the differences in dynamics at which this occurs, the apparent racism that takes place in the novel still holds true years after its publication occurring in a variety of ways. Stereotypes, assumptions, and portrayals through media are only a few examples of the everyday racism that goes undetected. Slurs used in To Kill a Mockingbird are explained to Scout by Atticus as the novel states, “Scout, … nigger-lover is just one of those terms that don’t mean anything -- like snot-nose. It’s hard to explain -- ignorant, trashy people use it when they think somebody’s favoring Negroes over and above themselves … ” (Lee 108) The constant use of such words are akin to the shallowest of waters in the pool of racism, barely scratching the surface. Now, many would here reject my claim, stating that no such words are used anymore and that actions denoting racism no longer occur,
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