Racism and Discrimination in to Kill a Mockingbird

Topics: Racism, Race and Ethnicity, To Kill a Mockingbird Pages: 3 (885 words) Published: March 13, 2012
Racism and Discrimination as the theme in To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel, that offers a view of life through a young girl’s eyes. The novel is focused on two main themes which are racism and discrimination.

Racism is probably the biggest theme of the novel. It comes in as an open and subtle manner that is being displayed through speeches and actions. Racism in Maycomb takes mainly the form of having white people against black people. There are many people in Maycomb that are racist because they think of Negroes are a disgraced race and are mostly unreliable and untrustworthy. The speeches and actions are the most common forms of racism however the layout of the town is of racial discrimination as well. The Negroes are situated in a small camp quite out of the town “past the dump…five hundred yards beyond the Ewells (pg188)” which shows that they are somewhat less valued than the local dump. An example of a character who is severely racist is Mrs. Dubose who lives next door to the Finches. Her intolerance of white and black people has become her characteristic. She insults people in many ways but becomes most vicious when it comes to matters of race. She has insulted Jem once by saying that his father was “no better than the niggers and trash he works for! (pg113)” causing Jem to explode in a rampage through her garden. Eventually, the reader learns that Mrs Dubose suffers a life-threatening disease that explains some of her rages. This can excuse some of her judgement and ignorance but not all of her racial discrimination against Negroes. Although these issues are serious, the main racial conflict originates from the Tom Robinson court case and how some of the minor discrimination includes the absence of Negroes in the jury and the requirement of Negroes having to sit in the gallery of the court room. The more serious issues involve the injustice that Tom Robinson suffered in the case....
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