Critical Lens

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 2 (536 words) Published: November 13, 2010
David McCallum once said, “Fear, conformity, immorality: these are heavy burdens. They drain us of creative energy. And when we are drained of creative energy, we do not create.” It is hard to have creativity in our minds when factors such as fear, conformity, and immorality stop us from doing so. I agree with this statement. Many people tend to stop forming their own ideas and opinions when there are things that influence them. Two works of literature that relate to this quote are To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. In To Kill a Mockingbird, the environment of racial discrimination makes a difference in a courtroom, where the suspect is an African American and the accuser is a white man. Also, In My Name is Asher Lev, symbolism takes a major role in following conformity.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, the setting takes place in a racial discriminative community where a lawyer named Atticus Finch, defends an African American named Tom Robinson. He is accused of raping a young white woman. As rumor got around that Atticus was defending a black man, many people started to insult Atticus, which caused him to lose strength and confidence. Around his neighborhood, he is characterized by a man who treats everyone as if they were family. When he heard that these people were judging him, he showed signs of doubtfulness. Atticus was hesitant about making the right choice for defending Robinson. Another sign of losing creative energy is when the jury picks the choice of whether or not Tom Robinson is guilty. Even though Atticus clearly showed that the plaintiff was the one who did the crime, conformity influenced the jury of making Tom Robinson guilty only for the reason that he was black.

My Name Is Asher Lev also relates to the quote. Asher holds a gift of art, but his religion does not approve of it. He would even deseacrate holy works of literature with his drawings. When Asher was younger, he would draw pictures of many...
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