Reasons for Racism in to Kill a Mockingbird

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Black people, Great Depression Pages: 1 (373 words) Published: March 25, 2009
The fact that the story is set during the depression emphasizes the poverty and sense of desperation throughout the town; this causes people to be very spiteful and blaming and a need for someone to take it out on. The Negroes are the people who are subject to the blaming as the whites can get away with it, this emphasizes how low down the blacks are seen to be and how little they are cared about. The setting of the novel also emphasizes how split the town is between the whites and the blacks. The Negroes are shunned to the outskirts of the town, deprived of an education and even made to attend a separate church.

Aunt Alexandra would be seen as a neutral character because she does not wish to run the risk of being ridiculed by the town for having strong beliefs about treating people as equals so she does not have an outstanding opinion on either side of the issue. She sees value in social class and wishes to keep a high status so she does not wish to make a fuss like she believes Atticus seems to do. She also keeps a quiet profile on the issue because she is concerned for Atticus’ safety and is worried that he may get hurt by someone who does not have the same views as he does.

Throughout To Kill a Mockingbird we are witness to a number of varying forms of racism. We see it through denied opportunities to the blacks, they are denied jobs and are forced to work for very low wages in the fields or as cooks. Their children are denied education as they may not attend school with the white children. They are shunned to the outskirts of Maycomb like outsiders and they are deprived of justice “Atticus had used every tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of mens hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed” (P.266). This quote shows that because Tom was a Negro the jury men would convict him without a second glance, as they believed that blacks were uniformly evil doers....
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