Examine the theme of racism/hypocrisy/courage in the novel. How is this theme demonstrated in the novel? What is harper lee’s underlying message about racism/hypocrisy/courage? What techniques does she use to communicate this?
To Kill a Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee in 1960. It has become a classic of modern American Literature. Since it publishing date in the 1960s it has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. The book is set in the American South state of Alabama in the 1930s. The main characters brother and sister; scout and jem and their father; Atticus. Scout tells the story of when she is growing up in her country town of Maycomb. The main event the story is based on is when a black man; Tom Robinson is accused of raping a white woman. Atticus is a lawyer and decides to defend Tom against the charges. One of the most prominent themes in this story is racism. Throughout American history racism against black Americans has always been a prominent issue; especially in the southern states. Throughout the book there are examples of racism and racial inequality. In chapter 21 Jem is confused about why Atticus didn’t win the case and he was so sure that he was going to win. Reverend Sykes goes on to say “I aint seen any jury decide in favour of a coloured man over a white man” What the reverend says about the jury is an example of racism and racial inequality. There was solid evidence placed forward by Atticus to defend Tom and even though he is probably innocent there is a more than likely chance that he will be declared “Guilty…Guilty…Guilty…Guilty” by the jury. If the positions were swapped and it was a white man standing trial he would probably be declared innocent. This is all because of the colour of Tom Robinson’s skin There are quite a number of characters in the book who have no problem expressing their dislike for black Americans. Mrs Dubose says “Not only Finch waiting on tables but one in the courthouse lawing for a Negro!” Jem stiffened....
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