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Write an essay on Harper Lee's presentation of the black characters in "To Kill A Mockingbird".

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Work based on Diverse Cultures and Traditions Question Write an essay on Harper Lee's presentation of the black characters in "To Kill A Mockingbird". Essay The story of To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is based in a fictional town in the southern state of Alabama, USA. The book was written and published just before the peak of the American civil rights movement. But the book became very popular in the 1960's because the atmosphere amongst the American citizens was very racially charged. The main plot of the story is that of the trial of Tom Robinson against the Ewells for his 'rape' of Mayella Ewell. He was found guilty of this charge because he was a black man giving his word against a white man. The black characters in the novel are all presented timid and well mannered. However, due to the attitudes of the society at the time the black citizens were 'below' the white citizens and were not even treated as third class citizens but more as animals, who have no feelings or rights in society. The actual trial of Tom Robinson is based on a trial that occurred when Lee was just five years old. In that trial nine black men were accused of raping two white women. ...read more.


She does this by introducing us to the characters of Calpurnia and Tom Robinson. Calpurnia is very trusted by the Finch family and this is shown when she teaches the children lessons about life and mannerisms. An example of this is when Walter Cunningham is over for dinner and Scout criticises how he eats his food. Calpurnia took Scout into the kitchen and said "Don't matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house's yo' comp'ny, and don't let me catch you remarkin' on their ways like you was so high and mighty! Yo' folks might be better'n the Cunninghams but it don't count for nothin' the way you're disgracin' 'em - if you cant act fit to eat at the table you can just set here and eat in the kitchen." This shows that Atticus has the faith in Calpurnia to allow her to teach and discipline Scout and Jem. Tom Robinson shows these characteristics when he tries to help Mayella Ewell. He felt sorry for her but she liked him yet as society did not belive that a black man could or should feel sorry for a white girl when he said he felt sorry for her, in the court room, the crowd of white citizens did not believe him. ...read more.


In conclusion, the blacks are honest, respectful, genuine and good people but the whites do not want to see this and treat them badly, although there are some exceptions. Just after the trial had finished Atticus was talking to Jem. He said to him "As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't forget it - whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash. ... There's nothing more sickening to me than a low-grade white man who'll take advantage of a Negro's ignorance. Don't fool yourselves - it's all adding up and one of these days we're going to be paying the bill for it. I just hope it's not in you children's time." By saying this I think Atticus is saying that the blacks will fight back and get their freedom and rights, which is what happened during the Civil Rights Movement a few years after To Kill A Mockingbird was published. The message of this particular theme of the novel is that everyone should not be treated unfairly just because they have a different skin colour, prefer to mix with different people to others or because they are uneducated. But moist importantly because society implies it. Stevie Brewster. 11.22 ...read more.

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