Conflicting Perspectives-to Kill a Mockingbird

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The concept of conflicting perspectives is consistently present in Harper Lees’ novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The text asks questions about current trends in society and the attitudes that cause people to ‘act like sheep” and conform while also expressing the need for individuality. It also brings into question the way the judicial system should be beyond reproach no matter what man is on trial, whether they be white or black. In a similar manner it also shows changing attitudes in regards to racism over time and in turn establish a conflicting perspective between the reader and characters of the novel. Written in the 1960’s and set in the 1930’s, the text is removed from its immediate context as it portrays the defence of a black man, Tom Robinson, by a white lawyer, Atticus Finch, going against the racist attitudes of the time, a conflicting perspective. Characterisation is used in the way Atticus represents morality and reason in and is the only character that never has to rethink his position in his argument. By doing so a separation between Atticus and society, more predominantly the jury is set up and hence the issue of conformity is addressed. Atticus tries to make the jury see him not as Tom’s Lawyer but as a loyal member of community. By using colloquial language, referring to them as “Gentlemen” and noting to the case as “being as simple as black and white”, a more intimate and personal connection with the jury can be established. This is necessary to Atticus’s plight as the jury, unlike Atticus, lacks courage to make decisions that go against society; they succumb to the importance to other values/opinions and are influenced by the pressure of society. The legality and purity of the judicial system is strongly questioned in Lees’ novel. Although losing the court battle, Atticus believes that all men are equal in the court room. He sees it as “the one human institution that makes a pauper equal to a Rockefeller, the stupid man an equal to an Einstein...
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