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RACISM SHOULD NOT EXIST IN SOCIETY - Racism in To Kill A Mockingbird

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Introduction

RACISM SHOULD NOT EXIST IN SOCIETY Innocence - Children are born innocent. They learn prejudice from society: from their parents and the adults around them. The Mockingbird acts as a metaphor for innocence as Atticus states " Shoot all the blue jays you want ........ but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." Pg 98 The book begins by portraying the innocence and world of play of a tomboyish six year old girl and her ten year old brother. At the beginning of the book Jem starts out as a playful child who was often a companion to Scout. Later you see his personality change from immature to mature as he grows to understand the ways of life, racism and toleration. In the Finch household, Calpurnia, the black housekeeper acts as a mother figure and discipliarian towards Scout as in the scene where Scout unknowingly insults a poor neighbour boy and Cal teaches her how to behave. Atticus trusts Cal , relies on her support raising his children and considers her part of the family. While their father Atticus' motive may have been to protect their innocence, they are abruptly brought out of their carefree world by their fathers unpopular but courageous defense of a black man falsely accused of raping a southern white woman. ...read more.

Middle

Coloured folks won't have them because they're half white, white folks won't have em 'cause they're half-coloured so they're just in-betweens." Pg 161 Racism has more to do with maintaining the social order as Mrs. Dubose says to Jem, ".....what has this world come to when a Finch goes against his raising? .... Your fathers no better than the niggers and trash he works for!" pg 102 Aunt Alexandra plays the greatest role in reinforcing the Finch family social status. She refuses to associate with black and white citizens alike if they do not fill the same social position. Atticus , on the other hand urges his children to sympathize with others. He tells them that they cannot judge people until they "climb into their skin and walk around in it." Pg 30 The experience of being temporarily restricted from Cal's church forces the Finch children to momentarily experience the same kind of racial discrimination that is a terrible daily reality for the black community. 2 All men are created equal Prejudice of every sort runs rampant throughout the town: prejudice against gender, against social class. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, Atticus speaks to Jem about real courage after Mrs Dubose's death. "It's when you ..............." pg 112 Lulu's defensive attitude toward allowing the Finch children into the Black church shows that though the black community is by and large welcoming, there are always people, black or white, who are less generous or who will practise unfair kinds of behavior . This relates to Atticus' courtroom speech that there are honest and dishonest people everywhere. " You know the truth, the truth is this: some Negroes lie., some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men cannot be trusted around women black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men" pg 217 Chptr 22 Miss Maudie points out that there were a network of people working on Tom behalf including Mr Tate the sherriff. the black community, Mr Taylor the judge. Even though Atticus didn't win he did manage to keep the jury out in discussion for longer than any one else could "We're making a step --- it's just a baby step, but it's a step" ...read more.

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