Was Justice Served for Thomas in
To Kill a Mockingbird?
The dictionary defines the word justice as the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims. Malcolm X, a civil rights leader who fought against injustice defines justice by stating, “I am a Muslim, because it's a religion that teaches you an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. It teaches you to respect everybody, and treat everybody right. But it also teaches you if someone steps on your toe, chop off their foot. And I carry my religious axe with me all the time.” (Good Reads). The injustices committed against minorities birthed the civil rights movement, and inspired leaders like Malcolm X. Unfortunately, the miscarriage of justice in our history is overly prevalent in the legal systems and law enforcement agencies; the fight for justice is not fought solely against other people, but rather against systems, systems that were put into place to prolong the enslavement mentality of Blacks and keep them oppressed. These practices are commonplace in the rural South during the 30’s which is the location and times setting of Christopher Sergel’s play To Kill a Mockingbird. Impartiality may not have been the theme in this era in regards to the treatment of Blacks, however; To Kill a Mockingbird challenges our interpretation of justice as it may be imposed outside of justice systems. This story brings to light the cruel, imbalanced injustice within the legal system towards Blacks who have been accused of crimes by Whites. At the same time, we are exposed to the counter movements of certain people in the community, who have the purist of motives in their fight against injustice. In this story, within the legal system, the question of justice is answered blatantly, no; it was not served for the person, Thomas Robinson, the young man being wrongly accused of rape, convicted and eventually killed. In the aftermath of events following Thomas’s conviction, his accuser, Bob Ewell was killed and the reader...
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