Racism in To Kill a Mocking Bird

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 1320
  • Published : September 11, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
Racism, the root of many problems in times such as the 1930s, helped shape America into the country it has become. Many small, but deafening cries were made, and it was very unfortunate that Tom Robinson (from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee) lived in a time in which the cries were not quite loud enough. Atticus Finch, a well-known and widely respected lawyer, was obligated to undertake the difficult duty of defending a black man, Tom Robinson, against the word of two white people, Bob and Mayella Ewell. He was known to never give up and was credited to be a very good lawyer with a different approach to almost everything. Many times throughout the pre-trial period, Atticus wanted to give up and leave the hole he was digging to somebody else, but he knew if he did quit he would not be able to live with that on his conscience. He was constantly criticized because he was defending a black man; however, he continued to endure the pain and suffering of his entire family until the trial. He went into the courtroom with every intention of serving justice, but his goal was not to acquit. Atticus Finch wanted to jar the jury and have a chance at appeal. During the most vital part of the entire case (the closing statement,) Atticus argued many different points that should have impacted the jury enough to have them doubting society’s beliefs. One of the most common types of arguments that Atticus used to persuade the jury was by using shared cultural beliefs (nomos.) He told the jury that Mayella broke an honored code of society by tempting a Negro. Atticus knew the jury could concur with him because they all believed the same that society believed, and tempting a Negro was not acceptable. He also indicated to the jury that they should not follow the general public’s assumptions about black people: they always lie, they are immortal, and they should not be trusted around women in any circumstances - because color was not important. Everybody could lie, be dishonest,...
tracking img