• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss Harper Lee's treatment of black people in the novel -

Extracts from this document...


Discuss Harper Lee's treatment of black people in the novel - "To kill a mockingbird." "To kill a mockingbird" is set in a small imaginary town in the southern states of America and is described to us as the sort of town which houses a lot of small minded people who only care for themselves. We see that these people have an apparent problem with anyone who is different from themselves; the main example being black people. It is likely that they feel threatened by those different from them as they cannot understand them. It is set in the 1930's but was written in the 1960's at a time where the ever growing civil rights movement was taking place. The novel tries to show us that within society black people were beginning to be accepted more and more. The black community were starting to stand up for themselves and were questioning the way which they had been treated by society in the past. Even though in reality black people were growing to be accepted by most, some people still took the view that they were worthless and only good for one thing; that thing being slavery. This take upon black people is reflected in the Novel by the citizens of Maycomb and their unfair treatment towards people such as Tom Robinson. ...read more.


Once again she screams at the children as they pass her house but this time she tells them that their father is "No better then the Negros he works for!" This remark emphasises the fact that black people were the lowest among society, even lower then what was known as the "white trash" and therefore they should not be regarded as equals or treated with the same respect that they would treat fellow members of their community. I think the fact that Atticus is willing to treat every one the same and is not scared of the black people within society threatens Mrs Dubose along with other members of Maycomb as they cannot understand why people would take this approach towards people who are different from themselves. Mrs Dubose is used as a device to put an emphasis on the fact that racism was so common; we can interpret this because of the way in which we see that Atticus was not surprised nor angry when he heard abut the way Mrs Dubose had acted towards his children even though they had nothing to do with the matter at hand. In responding to Mrs Dubose's outburst Atticus warns the children that as the trail progresses more and more people will take this view on him and the abuse will become worse but they must ignore it and keep out of trouble. ...read more.


Tom Robinson's trial proved this to us as it was obvious that he was innocent but the people of Maycomb would much rather believe a white girl, whom they can relate to in terms of colour rather then a black man whom they cannot understand and are most likely scared of due to the fact that he is different. Throughout the course if the trial we come to see that Tom is innocent and Mayella is just lying in order to protect her father but none of that matters to the people of Maycomb for all that matters is that the accused was black. Being black meant Tom was doomed from the start, his trial was pointless as the truth didn't seem to matter at all, the only fact that the jury and the other members of the community were interested in was that Tom was a black man. This trial showed just how bad prejudice can be, a man was imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit all because he was black. His family had to deal with never being able to see him again knowing that the same thing could happen to them one day because they too were black members of the community. 1 Jade Rolph 11M ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harper Lee essays

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    for conscience, but when she speaks up, Aunt Alexandra is required by civil code to move the conversation into pleasant topics again - thus the ladies never seem to discuss anything meaningful. Throughout the book, women are often described in relation to sweet things: for instance in Chapter 1 they

  2. I am going to write about the two main problems in Maycomb society which ...

    Mr Deas asks Bob to get of his property or else he would be charged with assault. 'I ain't touched her. Link Deas, and ain't about to go with no nigger!' Bob replied sarcastically. Ewell says this like it's a sin to go with a black person.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee - This case is as simple as ...

    When Tom Robinson is in Enfield Prison, he is shot down because he apparently started running for the fence in the exercise period, right in front of the guards. "It was during their exercise period. They said he just broke into a blind raging charge at the fence and started climbing over.

  2. To kill a mockingbird - Discuss Harper Lee's treatment of black people in the ...

    Harper Lee included sections like this in the novel, to give the reader a glimpse of what black and white people think of each other, it also shows black peoples views of the segregation system. Another point where this is evident is when Jem, Scout and Dill were at the

  1. What view does Harper Lee give us of the lives and difficulties of the ...

    'When they saw Jem and me with Calpurnia, the men stepped back and took off their hats; the women crossed their arms at their waists, : They parted and made a small pathway to the church door for us' Despite all the prejudice from the whites against the blacks, Jem

  2. To Kill A Mocking Bird : Harper Lee - A chapter analysis.

    To occupy her time while Jem and Dill spent their afternoons in their treehouse, Scout turned to her neighbor, Miss Maudie. A kind and patient woman, Maudie also had her own eccentricities. Unlike most other proper Maycomb ladies, Maudie spent most of her time outside, working in her garden.

  1. How effectively does Harper Lee convey her ideas about prejudice in her novel To ...

    accustomed to this and as a result of this confusion, blame the younger generation. Although, Maycomb County encompasses a lot of history the novel is narrated by Scout in the form of a retrospective and reflective narrative. Scout is the youngest Finch and her demeanour is slightly masculine - hence her nickname 'Scout'.

  2. How does Harper Lee prepare us in chapter 1 for what is to come ...

    The tri colon exaggerates the slow pace of life in Maycomb and the structured life that everyone within it lived with little variation. From the first description it appears to be a place where everyone knows everyone. Throughout the novel Scout explains the traits of certain families and their reputations.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work