To Kill a Mocking Bird

1008 Words 5 Pages
Based on the novel written by Harper Lee, the classic film To Kill a Mockingbird was directed by Robert Mulligan and released in 1962. It has won an abundance of awards and is considered by many to be one of the greatest films ever made.

Set in the 1930’s in Maycomb Alabama, the film focuses on the main characters of Atticus Finch and his two children, daughter Scout and son Jem. Atticus is a lawyer who decides to defend an African-American man, Tom Robinson, who is accused of raping the white woman Mayella Ewell. The film largely revolves around the court hearing and how the town of Maycomb reacts to their most respected lawyer defending a black man. Atticus is a decent man and is determined to educate his kids to be able to overlook
…show more content…
The 1930’s was a time when African-Americans had only been free from slavery for sixty five years, therefore prejudice and racial discrimination were still widespread in American society. White people were still coming to terms with the fact that the blacks now legally held the same rights as them.
In the film, the African-American character Tom Robinson has been the victim of malicious racism and social inequality. Although Tom legally has the same rights as white men he is still perceived as a criminal and sexual predator and is treated as such. He has been accused of sexually assaulting a young white woman named Mayella Ewell and was put on trial in front of a white judge and jury. There were major discrepancies in Mayella’s testimony and it was clear to the entire courtroom that she had in fact been the one to initiate sexual conduct with the defendant and was caught doing so by her father Bob Ewell. Her father subsequently beat her and forced her to place the blame on the black man. Regardless of the obvious deception of the plaintiffs, Tom was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. This is a blatant act of discrimination due to his race. “…in the secret courts of men’s hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed” (Mulligen, 1963). This quote from the film represents the dehumanization of Tom Robinson by the
Open Document