To Kill a Mockingbird Essay About Racism

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Breonna Burrell
Period 5
TKAM Essay
(Re-Write 10/24/09)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee depicts racism in the 1930’s and shows the characters had to overcome challenges because of it. The 1930’s was a difficult time to live in because of racism against African Americans and the depression, where thousands of people lost their jobs. The idea “an extraordinary challenge can sometimes make an ordinary person into a hero” shows that anyone in To Kill a Mockingbird could have been a hero, even in a time of hardships. Scout Finch, Arthur “Boo” Radley, and Atticus Finch overcame challenges in the story in order to become great heroes.

For instance, Arthur “Boo” Radley overcame many obstacles in order to become a hero because he kept himself hidden from the rest of the town. One of these obstacles were all the rumors spread about him. He has been rumored to have stabbed his father’s leg with scissors and to have done many crimes, like stealing. These rumors make people afraid of him; they do not even try to make peace or settle any of these rumors. However, the rumors need to be worked out and resolved. Boo also overcomes Bob Ewell who tries to kill Jem and Scout Finch. It was difficult for him because he had not been outside with others in a long time. He overcomes his fears and saves the children’s lives. Even though he accomplishes saving Scout and Jem’s lives, he still seems to be child-like himself. When he asks Scout “Will you take me home?” (Lee 278), obviously he has a child-like dependency on others because he did not have a good childhood himself. Though not much is known about Boo, he is a hero.

Another example of a hero is Atticus Finch who became a hero by overcoming the racism of the people around him, and to help free a black man. He goes against everyone who thinks he is wrong to be a lawyer in black man’s case. His instinct helps him know what was right, and he goes with it making his bravery and riotousness heroic....
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