To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

Topics: Racism, Discrimination, Lynching Pages: 3 (996 words) Published: October 25, 2013

In most societies, there are standards that help protect the citizens. However, when the standards are set by people who are prejudiced and bigoted the outcome can potentially be harmful to those whom the society deems “unacceptable” or “different”. To Kill a Mockingbird by the famed author Harper Lee is a novel that allows the audience to reflect on significant social issues and values in our society. The poem by Abel Meeropol titled Strange Fruit also reflects on the tragedy of discrimination. The novel deals with many issues that involve racial injustice, the destruction of innocence and class in the American Deep South. The poem, in just three verses, powerfully deals with the outcome of the social issue of racism in its most extreme form. The prejudice and bigotry are embedded in the social values and laws of a society. It is not until individuals and groups rally against the prejudice that change occurs.

The novel is set in Maycomb, a close-minded town that demonstrates racism and other prejudices. The town can be seen as a microcosm for the Southern States of the USA in the 1930s. Atticus, a white, well-respected lawyer and also a family man, lives in this town and is used in the novel as an alternative to racial prejudice. This attitude is shown when a pivotal event happens in the storyline which is the trial and conviction of an African American named Tom Robinson. Atticus decides to represent the man and, by doing this, puts his reputation at risk by going against what the white society in the town deems appropriate, but by doing what he thinks is the morally right thing to do. This contrasts what society values, which is white supremacy, with Atticus’ values concerning equality. Atticus lives successfully in Maycomb, but he also challenges its inherent prejudices.

Atticus shows his rejection of the society’s prevailing attitudes and values through his interaction, shown in Part 2 of the novel, in his personal life, with his black housemaid,...
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