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Racial issues in to kill a mocking bird

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Harry Courtney 10C How does Harper Lee Explore the Issues Raised by Racial Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird? 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is set in the time of the economic depression, and highlights this as a time of racial prejudice. This prejudice comes from the white community who are most fearful of the black community and let this show through their prejudice. One line within this novel which clearly indicates the author's distaste for this prejudice is "It's a sin to kill a mockingbird," meaning that it is wrong to be prejudiced towards someone who has done nothing wrong. Yet this is something which happens many times in this story as it details how things were during the economic depression of the 1930s. The full extent of how bad racial prejudice is in the town of Maycomb is first outlined by the community's reaction to Atticus, when he decides to act for Tom Robinson during his trial. ...read more.


These include: the trial, at the church and in jobs in the town. In the trial none of the black community was allowed to be on the jury. "First purchase African M.E. Church was in the Quarters outside the southern town limits .... paid for from the first earnings of the freed slaves", this shows that not only did the black community pay for their church out of their first wages, but that they also have to have their own church, as the white community would not let them worship in theirs. Furthermore, we are then told that "Negroes worshipped in it on Sundays and white men gambled in it on weekdays", this shows the disrespect the white men showed to the black community and their place of worship. Nearly all of the black community worked for someone in the white community in Maycomb, for example most of the Negroes work in the fields that are owned by Mr Link Dees. ...read more.


Examples of this are Miss Maudie's comments on Boo Radley, "I remember Arthur Radley when he was a boy. He always spoke nicely to me". This shows that not everyone thinks of him as a monster but as a nice boy. In conclusion, I feel that Harper Lee explores the issues raised by racial prejudice in 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by highlighting the differences in circumstances and conduct in the community between the whites and the blacks. This was shown in detailed accounts of similar issues, such as the different jobs that whites do compared to the blacks. Also, this was shown in the disrespect that the whites showed to the blacks in the equivalent of what they had, eg that the whites gambled in the blacks' church during the weekdays. In addition, Harper shows the racial prejudice by highlighting factual information which the jurors still refuse to believe so that a black man is sent down for something he obviously did not do. These were highly charged times lacking in respect from one human to another and this is something which Harper puts across very clearly. ...read more.

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