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The Discrimination of Innocent Mockingbirds

By connorea Jun 02, 2011 780 Words
In TKAM there was much discrimination and prejudice against innocent, harmless and kind Mockingbird type characters. The theme of discrimination and prejudice ran rampant throughout the town of Maycomb County in the 1930's. Acts of hatred and misunderstanding took place all because of someone’s colour. The characters Arthur “Boo” Radley, Tom Robinson and Atticus Finch all portray kind hearted mockingbirds who are innocent victims of discrimination throughout this novel.

Arthur ‘Boo’ Radley is a hermit that lives shut up in his house, completely isolated from the outside world. His father kept him locked up as a form of punishment and as a result of this isolation, Boo gained the reputation as Maycomb’s mysterious man. He was an innocent victim of discrimination as the townspeople blamed him for several evil things that happened in the town. False rumours were created and Jem, Scout and Dill spent most of their free time trying to get Boo out of the house to see what he looked like. These children were discriminatory against Boo because he was different. They made fun of him, yet there was no evidence to prove that Arthur Radley was different or had done anything evil. Boo Radley was definitely a mocking bird in this story as he was innocent and kind, yet he was discriminated against by others. He was blamed for things that he did not do, just like Tom Robinson was blamed for something he did not do.

Tom Robinson was discriminated against because of his colour. Tom was accused of raping Mayella Ewell, yet there was no evidence of his guilt. He was mistreated and misjudged because he was black. Throughout the novel he is referred to as ‘boy’, ‘nigger’, and ‘darkie’. The town of Maycomb believed blacks were worthless and the whites belittled the blacks, harassed them and treated them horribly. They were hired hand who lived in a different part of town, had their own church, their own schools and were looked down upon. Bob Ewell accused Tom of raping his daughter, yet there was no evidence. In the court room all evidence produced by Atticus Finch made it clear that Tom was innocent. It was proven that a left handed man harmed Mayella. Tom’s left arm was crippled from an accident. He could not have done it, yet Tom was sentenced as guilty. The court would not convict a white man over a black man. Tom Robinson was an innocent mockingbird that was only kind hearted to others, yet he was discriminated against because of his colour. His lawyer, Atticus Finch did everything in his power to prove Tom’s innocence, but failed because Atticus himself was discriminated against as well.

Atticus Finch, a harmless, kind-hearted lawyer in the novel, was the true image of a mockingbird, yet was discriminated against because he was assigned to the case of Tom Robinson, a black man. Atticus risked his life, his family and his reputation to prove that Tom Robinson was innocent, yet failed in the end due to the discrimination against blacks. Atticus was called a ‘nigger lover’ because he was defending a black man. Atticus sat outside the town jail one night to protect Tom Robinson and a gang of men came. Atticus risked his life to protect a black man who he truly believed was innocent of the crime. He proved that Tom was not guilty due to his crippled left arm and proved that is was actually Bob Ewell who attacked his own daughter. It was Bob Ewell who spit in Atticus’s face saying that he would get him if it took the rest of his life. The entire town knew that Tom Robinson was innocent, yet would not let a black man go free and convict a white man. Atticus risked the reputation of his entire family because he defended a black man. His children were frowned upon, tormented and beaten up because of Atticus’ defence. The town could not tolerate black people and therefore could not tolerate anyone who associated or defended them. Atticus Finch was an innocent, harmless man attempting to prove another harmless man innocent of a crime he did not commit.

Discrimination and racism affects many characters throughout the novel TKAM. The rumours and ridicule of Arthur ‘Boo’ Radley, the loss of Tom Robinson’s trial, the discrimination against Atticus Finch from the townspeople, are all examples of prejudice and intolerance of others that is simply cruel and unfair treatment. The characters Boo, Tom and Atticus are symbols of mockingbirds because they were all kind, innocent, harmless victims that were ridiculed, intolerated and discriminated against because they were different.

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