The Theme of Racism

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The Theme of Racism

The novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee is a childish view of life in the Deep South of America in the 1930s. The gullible but humorous story is told through the eyes of Scout and Jem Finch. Scout is a young girl who is growing up with the argument that surrounds her father’s lawsuit. Her father, Atticus Finch is a lawyer who is defending a black man, Tom Robinson, who has been charged of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell. The lives and perspectives of the characters are changed by theme of racism and it’s the force that develops during the course of the narrative. 


As mentioned before, the point of view in this novel is from Scout. Her childhood has been respectful to the African-Americans in her society and we can see this in her relationship with her housekeeper, Calpurnia. Other children her age, have adopted their parents' racial prejudice views, causing her of quite a few problems. Atticus's lawsuit seems to disengage his children and Scout is taunted with rather rude and discriminative remarks in the playground. Her only response is violence and Atticus, as a moralistic father, does not excuse this behaviour either: "My fists were clenched; I was ready to make fly. Cecil Jacobs had announced the day before that Scout Finch's daddy defended niggers."- the word ‘niggers’ is commonly used in the book as it was late 1930s, the word wasn’t taken seriously and we can see that racism in the book wasn’t a big deal for anyone as even 6 year old children used such words.


Atticus's conflict for justice leads to more and more problems for Scout. She is constantly defending him but the racist remarks do not stop. These remarks just show how cruel children can be to other children because on the influence their parents prejudice views have on them and even in this day and age; if someone is racist to you, it’s usually their upbringing. Additionally, most of the children who were racist parents’ were the uneducated...
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