To Kill a Mockingbird Essay – Racism and Prejudice
Harper Lee uses her book To Kill a Mockingbird to explore two major issues; racism and prejudice. Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. The issue of racism is explored through Tom Robinson and his court case, where Tom Robinson; a black man; was accused of raping a white girl, he is convicted purely because he is a black man and his accuser is white. Harper Lee uses Tom’s court case and the symbol of the mockingbird to explore the issue of racism. Prejudice is making a judgement or assumption about someone or something before having enough knowledge to be able to do so with guaranteed accuracy. Harper also uses Boo Radley to express the issue of prejudice; Harper expresses this through the way the town judges Boo Radley, before they even know him, they assume he is some crazy mean psychopath who stays inside all the time and never shows his face outside, where in fact he is not mean, or crazy in any way and also saves the lives of Jem and Scout. These issues are explored further throughout the novel. Racism is commonly portrayed throughout the novel, Harper Lee uses many different situations and events in the novel, to discuss the issues of racism. Through the symbol of the mockingbird, Harper Lee expresses the issue of racism with the mockingbird as a symbol of racism. As Ms Maudie explains to scout how it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird, Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. Pg 99-100. Ms Maudie explains to Scout here, killing a mockingbird is a sin, as the mockingbirds don’t do anything wrong they just sing and make music for people without causing any harm, just like the issue of racism. People disapprove of negros when they do nothing wrong. This is portrayed...
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