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To Kill a Mocking Bird Essay

By vanvanvanessa Nov 20, 2008 559 Words
The novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee is set in America in the 1930s . The story is told through the eyes of Scout and Jem Finch. Scout is a young adolescent who is growing up with the controversy that surrounds her fathers lawsuit. Her father, Atticus Finch is a lawyer who is defending a black man, Tom Robinson, with the charge of raping a white girl. The lives of the characters are changed by racism and this is the force that develops during the course of the narrative.

As already mentioned the point of view in this narrative is Scouts. Scouts upbringing has been respectful to the African Americans in her society and she shows this with her relationship to her maid, Calpurnia. Other children her age have adopted their parents racial views, this causes her many problems. Atticus's lawsuit seems to isolate his children and Scout is taunted with remarks in the playground. Her only retort is violence and Atticus, as a virtuous father, does not condone this behaviour "My fists were clenched I was ready to make fly. Cecil Jacobs had announced the day before that Scout Finch's daddy defended niggers."

Atticus's battle for justice causes more problems for Scout. She is continually defending him but the racist remarks do not stop. These remarks just show how cruel children can be to other children. She feels the need to defend her father to Francis, her cousin. He was also taunting her with accusations "He's nothin' but a nigger-lover." Racism has disrupted their lives, especially Scouts, through the old fashioned and discriminative opinions of the younger residents of Maycomb.

In the court case, mr Dolphus Raymond , (who is looked apon as a sinful men by the community because he has fathered mixed children) talks to Scout and Dill . To contemplate this felony he pretended to be a drunk "Secretly, Miss Finch, I'm not much of a drinker, but you see they could never, never understand that I live like I do because that is the way I want to live." He tells the children his secret, as they already know that racism is wrong and will not be people who will be stuck with old fashioned opinions. They will be individuals who have new opinions, which include equality.

In Atticus's opinion, the courtroom is the only place that is truly fair. The court ruling does not go Atticus's way, as the court will still not convict a white man over a black man. Jem does not understand this, as he is not a racist. Atticus consoles Jem while he knows the jury is still racist "If you had been on the jury, son, and eleven other boys like you, Tom would be a free man."

Racism has disrupted and changed the lives of the characters in `To kill a Mockingbird'. The main characters, the Finches, are persecuted because Atticus is defending a black man in court . At the beggining of thje novel racism is, bullying and discriminative on a basic level but by the end it has affected the whole town. Furthermore, racism is life altering and causes some people to become outcasts, as in Mr Dolphus Raymond's case. Racism is the back bone of this story and at this time justice cannot overcome this discrimination.

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