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An Examination Of The Ways In Which Racism And Racist Issues Are Explored In Harper Lee's " To Kill A Mocking Bird "

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Introduction

An Examination Of The Ways In Which Racism And Racist Issues Are Explored In Harper Lee's " To Kill A Mocking Bird " Racism is the belief in innate superiority of particular race and antagonism towards members of different race based on this belief. Harper Lee's novel "To Kill A Mocking Bird" explores some of the racial issues of America at the time, discrimination, racist attitudes towards black people; segregation and feeling of superiority from the white people are just some of the topics Lee raises. Set in the Deep South of America in Alabama during the mid 1930s racism is a common and normal part of life. The novel is seen through the eyes of Scout Finch a young girl living in the town, Lee attempts to show us the unjust world as she sees it, innocent and questioning, enforcing her point that racism is wrong and showing how unfair and immoral parts of America were not so long ago. Each day there is demonstration of racist divisions in the society of Maycomb County the town in which the novel is set, hostile attitudes from town member's segregation of each way of life and general small minded outlooks on race is common. ...read more.

Middle

that Atticus is defending Tom Robinson a good friend of the church and member of the black community this ultimately shows that he and a certain few members of Maycomb are the hope for a future of equality. During the trial of Tom Robinson the Racism and injustice and inequality of America at the time is really exposed in a courtroom of law a place in which discriminations likes and dislikes should be tossed aside and only the truth should count. Even before the trial has started we can see examples of inequality, there is a special balcony that is called the coloured box for black people, which in itself is fundamentally unjust. Throughout the case we see more evidence of blindly obvious racism, when witnesses such as Bob Ewell take the stand he increasingly uses demoralizing vocabulary towards Tom Robinson "I seen that black nigger yonder ruttin' on my Mayella!" without any objections. Lee provokes great feelings of frustration in the reader in this section as Atticus presents such unmistakable evidence that Tom is not guilty, first the fact that they didn't call a doctor when she was "pretty well beat up" as Bob Ewell said it wasn't necessary. ...read more.

Conclusion

Most of the town starts to take the issues into account, Scout has a very interesting lesson in which the class talk about "democracy, equal rights for all, special privileges for none" and discuss discrimination against the Jews showing the gradual maturing of compassion and social insight in children as the Jews are almost in the same situation as the black people. Atticus believes that hopefully he could get an appeal after the case as he has such hard evidence but is devastated after the death of Tom Robinson as he thought he had "such a good shot at it." After the attempted murder of Jem and Scout by Bob Ewell Atticus realizes that perhaps not all people are good and Lee hints that perhaps this may change his views slightly. To Kill a Mocking Bird is a truly superb book. Lee creates extremely strong and engaging characters and effectively examines racist topics of America at the time. The novel is very thought provoking and what is key is the fact that as well as tackling racist issues Lee manages to make the political points entertaining and interesting to read with a grippingly strong plot. Thomas Stewart 4R Saturday 2nd March 2002 ...read more.

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