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To Kill a Mockingbird - Review.

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Introduction

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD ESSAY The story was about Scout (Jean-Louise Finch) and her brother Jem who try to understand the real idea of sin in the little town 'Maycomb' in America. Their father (Atticus) became very unpopular when he tried to defend a Negro (Tom Robinson) who was wrongly accused. Jem and Scout learned from the case that evil comes in many shapes and sometimes things are not as straight forward as they think. They also learn how people react when they are forced to choose between their prejudice and what they know is right. Scout and Jem lived with their father Atticus and their cook Calpurnia in 'Maycomb' which is an inward-looking town in Alabama, USA. Maycomb was a small, isolated and old town. Scout's incomprehension of Maycomb and it's goings-on add an element of humour to the novel. For example, when Maycomb is described in the first paragraphs. Scout conveys the idea to the reader that she did not want to grow up like 'soft teacakes' which is what other ladies are like in Maycomb and she thinks it's unnecessary to conform to society that she must behave like a 'lady' and wear a 'skirt'. ...read more.

Middle

People hardly see him during the daytime and there was an incident when "Mr Radley passed by Boo, he drove the scissors into his parent's leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his pants, and resumed his activities". "Mrs Radley ran screaming into the street"... The sheriff hadn't the heart to put him in jail alongside Negroes, so Boo Radley was locked in the courthouse basement. This could show how White people received special treatment compared to Blacks. Near the end of the novel, Boo gave the impression to the reader that he wasn't a bad person because he had saved Scout and Jem's life. Throughout the novel, the reader had an image about people who had lived there all their lives in Maycomb and had a large family network. The Haverford in Maycomb was 'a name synonymous with jackass', the Cunninghams were 'an nearest thing to a gang ever seen in Maycomb' and the Ewells had been ' the disgrace of Maycomb for three generations'. The Ewells were even seen to be below the Negroes as they lived behind the town garbage dump in what was 'once a Negro cabin'. But the prejudice was so strong that the jury had taken Ewell's word instead of the Blacks, and Tom Robinson was convicted of the rape of Mayella Ewell. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jem had once asked her why. She explains that if she speaks 'White' in the church, people would think she was "puttin' on airs to beat Moses". This demonstrates how the two worlds are so different, whatever their class or their bigotry. There were good people who think all humans are the same race. For example Mr Link Deas made a job for Helen Robinson, Tom's widow and he helps her get out Bob Ewell's threat. Also Mr Dolphus Raymond had married a coloured woman and had lots of children. This shows that Mr Raymond thinks that coloured people are the same as the White people. On the court day, White people were sitting on the bright side, but the Blacks sitting in a far corner of the square and when everyone was going into the courthouse, the Blacks have to wait after the White families went in. This again shows inequality between 'Blacks' and 'Whites'. Although the Tom Robinson's case was a failure, and the dangers of prejudice and tension still exist in Maycomb, through Atticus testifying, all the jury did think about their racism and prejudice for the first time. So there was a little improvement about the Maycomb people's prejudice against coloured people and they will always think a little more about the issue from now on! ...read more.

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