To Kill a Mockingbird

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Racism, Race Pages: 4 (1286 words) Published: July 1, 2012
To Kill A Mockingbird Essay
Reading broadens our minds and touches our hearts. It creates greater understanding and compassion in the reader through its characters and themes. Write an essay that addresses the ideas expressed in this statement with reference to your class novel.

“You never really understand a person, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” With over 30 million copies sold worldwide and claiming title to the prestigious Pulitzer Prize, “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a classic novel written by Harper Lee that not only excites and educates the reader but ultimately encourages them to re-evaluate their preconceptions and learn to denote an emotional understanding of another's feelings or problems by putting themselves in other people’s shoes. Although the story is set in the deep Southern state of Alabama in the mid 1930’s, the main themes and issues examined in the book are just as relevant to society today. The ideas of racial prejudice, deceptive appearances, courage and acceptance of differing perspectives are explored through the main characters of Atticus and Scout and their interactions with others and this in turn allows the reader to empathise with the characters and apply the lessons learnt to their own lives.

One of the most important issues that is analysed in To Kill a Mockingbird is the notion of racial prejudice, highlighted by the attitudes of the townspeople in the court case concerning Tom Robinson. From the very beginning the racist nature of Maycomb is portrayed through their harsh accusations and emotive language as Atticus defends a black man, “Atticus is a nigger lover.” The negative connotations of the phrase “nigger lover” particularly during the 1930’s emphasises the racist opinions and strong hatred by the townspeople of black people using this term to degrade a respected member of their community for helping one of them. Ultimately, the discrimination surrounding black people destroys the belief of...
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