Two of a Kind- When History Meets Literature:
The Similarities of a Difference
Prejudice. Stereotypes. Discrimination. Racism. These standards are four of many injustices that fuel the world today. They play a major role in much of America’s history and even more so in its literature. A historically significant event that demonstrates these characteristics is the integration of the Little Rock Nine in 1957 at Little Rock, Arkansas. The Little Rock Nine were the first nine African-American students to be integrated into a public school, and were subject to a whole country worth of hatred and cruelty while attending. Aspects of this event in history are similar those in the book, To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee for they share some of the same ideas. In the first half of the novel Harper Lee portrays the small town Maycomb, Alabama, as the quintessential warm and sweet Southern town. Lee then proceeds to challenge her portrayal of this town during the second half of the book when she ruins the innocent picture to reveal a rotten other side filled with social lies, prejudice, and ignorance. This is revealed after the trial of an African American man, Tom Robinson, who was accused of raping a white woman. To Kill A Mocking Bird and the Little Rock Nine are similar in a way that they both demonstrate the brutality that the world holds for people drowning under the sea of inequality.
Both the Little Rock Nine and To Kill A Mockingbird took place during a time of segregation. African-Americans were consistently separated from the rest of the population, and even worse they were endlessly harassed. At the beginning of the school year in Little Rock, mobs of angry citizens lined up and down the street to verbally and emotionally abuse the nine students walking to school. One woman in particular, Hazel Bryan, harassed Elizabeth Eckford more than any of the students. Numerous photos were taken of Hazel practically stalking Elizabeth, and the look on...
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