To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is a story that takes place in a town called “Maycomb” in the Southern United States during the early twentieth century; the Great Depression. The narrator of the story, Scout Finch, tells of life in Maycomb County. Up to Chapter 19 in the text, Atticus Finch, Scout’s father, is defending a black man named Tom Robinson, who is accused of rape against Mayella Ewell. Due to this, Harper Lee makes it apparent that the story essentially revolves around racism, abuse and apathy.
Up to Chapter 19, racism is a major theme in To Kill a Mockingbird. Racism emerges many instances in the novel, although the most relevant is during Tom Robinson’s trial. He is accused of raping Mayella Euwell when asked to break up a bedroom dresser. Although, Mayella really came onto Tom, hugging him and asking her to kiss him, just when Mr. Ewell appears in the window. He calls her a whore and ultimately threatens to kill her. Although it is not stated, it is known that Mr. Euwell proceeded to abuse Mayella and make her lie about what really happened. It is made even more obvious that Tom Robinson is not guilty when Link Deas, Tom’s white employer, stands up and declares that in eight years of work, he has never had any trouble from Tom. Even a white man admitted to Tom being a nice man adds up to reasons why Tom should be freed from guilt. Along with racism emerge injustice and even more racism, in which the jury of the trial was filled with old, racist men who would love to see nothing more than Tom Robinson put to death just because of his race. Although the reader doesn’t know the results of the trial at the end of chapter 19, one can make a hypothesis that Tom Robinson will be lynched or put in jail for life, on account of who is hearing his case.
Also, abuse plays a large role in To Kill a Mockingbird. Besides the example of Mayella Ewell being abused by her father, the other largest example of this is Arthur “Boo” Radley. Many years back,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document