English 10 Honors
5 December 2012
Racial Injustice in Southern Communities
The significant events during one’s life greatly impact their outlook on life. In the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the author mimics eminent points from her childhood and growing years. The novel took place in Maycomb, a small town in the South where racial conflicts were still prominent. Lee’s writing was impacted by the historical influences in her lifetime that reflected the Jim Crow era to show the reader the prejudice that was imposed on southern blacks, to prevent readers from partaking in racial injustices. This was represented by the Scottsboro Boys trial through the Tom Robinson case, and the battle between the racial classes by the fastidious nature of the southern communities. Lee’s writing was influenced by the historical setting of her time to portray the unfair treatment of blacks, by using ideas from the Scottsboro trial to recreate it with the Tom Robinson case. The racist white community considered black members of the Southern states haughty, and the white jury was likely to disregard any arguments made by their side. Wormser states, “The issue at the trial was whether or not justice will be held in an Alabama rape trial” (Wormser 4). The rape was considered a higher level crime because a group of black men committed it in contrast to a group of white men. This unfair treatment during the trials is later shown in Lee’s writing. The injustice of the case made it harder for the defendant to win, and eventually the case was lost. Likewise, after Tom Robinson was sentenced guilty Atticus confessed the problem with defending a black man to a crying Jem. Atticus exclaims to comfort a crying Jem, “How could they do it, how could they? I don’t know, but they did it. They’ve done it before and they did it tonight and they’ll do it again and when they do it- seems that only children weep” (Lee 285). Atticus reflected that...
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