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How does Harper Lee convey her emotions about racism?

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How does Harper Lee convey her emotions about racism? In the book 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee, Lee conveys her emotions about racism in the small county of Maycomb through the eyes of the Scout, the narrator of the novel. Harper Lee conveys her emotion about racism through the language the white people refer to the black people; calling them "nigger" and not talking to them in person. The white people of Maycomb talk about black people using negative language. The only person who didn't talk about black people in a negative way was Atticus Finch and he taught Scout, Jem and Dill not to call them "niggers" as it was a pejorative term that should not be used. However, other people like Mrs Maudie and Miss Stephanie would still call them "niggers" because of it being passed down through generation to generation. ...read more.


In addition, the court decision about what would happen to Tom Robinson had already been made before the trial had happened. This is shown when Atticus says to Uncle Jack "In our courts, when it's a white man's word against a black man's work, the white always wins. They're ugly but these are the facts of life." This shows how Atticus disapproves of this but because the racism had been embedded into the community, the decision had already been made and however hard Atticus would try and defend Tom Robinson, he knew that he had already lost the case. However, there is also racism from the black community about white people. Lulu, one of the black people at First Purchase African M.E. Church, was unhappy that Calpurnia because she had brought Jem and Scout to the church. ...read more.


This shows how Calpurnia feels that she has to change the way she talks when talking to black people and white people because she would not be accepted in the community otherwise. In addition, during school, Miss Gates was talking about Adolf Hitler and his actions during the Second World War. "Over here we don't believe in persecuting anybody. Persecution comes from people who are prejudiced." Miss Gates, Jem and the rest of the white community do not understand they are being prejudiced to the black community and persecuting Tom Robinson because he is black. Scout however, is able to compare the persecution that took place during the Second World War to the Jews and the persecution that is taking place in Maycomb and feels that it is wrong. Harper Lee conveys her emotions about racism in the way that it is embedded in society and it is going to take a long time before this prejudice ends. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This has some good analysis and shows understanding and knowledge both of the novel itself and the complex issues of race which the novel explores.
Over simplistic in places and no topic sentences however the essay remains focused on the topic of racism but is too short.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 01/03/2012

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