To Kill a Mockingbird
Growing up and loss of innocence is a prominent theme represented in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. As Scout and Jem mature throughout their childhood, they learn how cruel the world can be in different ways. Due to the circumstances of living in Maycomb, the children are immensely exposed to racism. Scout and Jem’s loss of innocence was also caused by the discrimination and inequity in their town. Lastly, a strong reason why the children were forced to mature was the hypocrisy of the people living within Maycomb. Due to the time period Scout and Jem are living in, as well as the circumstances of living within Maycomb, the children are vastly exposed to racial discrimination. To Kill a Mockingbird was set in the 1930 – 1940 era; a time when racism was very prominent. During this time there remained a very real threat to the safety and opportunities of African-Americans in the United States. One event that occurred in Scout’s childhood greatly affected her realization to the prominence of racism in Maycomb. This event being when Scout was confronted by her peers about her father. Cecil Jacob’s, one of the students at school talks about Atticus in a derogatory manner, “he had announced in the schoolyard the day before the Scout’s daddy defended niggers”. (Lee 99) This occasion, and others like it, triggers Scout’s realization to the fact that Atticus’ choice to defend Tom Robinson, a Negro, is looked down upon by the people living in Maycomb. Another time that Scout and Jem were introduced to racism was when they were brought to the First Purchase African M.E Church. When they first arrived Lula says to them, “You ain't got no business bringin' white chillun here—they got their church, we got our'n. It is our church, ain't it, Miss Cal?” (158) This shows significance that that the white people are not welcomed at the black church. This was a shock for Scout and Jem because even in a place as sacred as a church there is still...
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