22 January 2018
To Kill a Mockingbird: Literary Analysis
Henry Rollins states, “Weakness is what brings ignorance, cheapness, racism, homophobia,
desperation, cruelty, brutality, all these things that will keep a society chained to the ground, one foot
nailed to the floor.” Discrimination in the 1930s was harsh and invasive for African Americans pertaining
to the growing influences of the Ku Klux Klans and Jim Crow Laws. Today, in 2018 there are still
horrifying circumstances with African Americans being accused of committing crimes, just because of the
color of their skin. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee conveys a lesson on not judging others by their
appearance but by their actions.
To begin, everyone faces some sort of discrimination throughout their lives. In To Kill a
Mockingbird, there are many characters that come across discrimination such as The Cunningham family,
The Ewell family and even The Finch family. In Chapter 14, Scout talks about how her Aunt Alexandra
will not tell her anymore about the Finch Family, but instead she heard plenty about the Finches from
around town. “They c’n go loose and rape up the countryside for all of ‘em who run this county
care”(180). In school, one of Scout’s classmates, Cecil Jacobs, declares that “Scout Finch’s daddy
defends niggers.”(99) Atticus Finch, Jem and Scout's father, had been asked to defend a black man, Tom
Robinson, who had been accused of raping a white woman named Mayella Ewell.
Second, Tom Robinson was one of the characters that received the most discrimination not only
for being accused of raping Mayella Ewell, but for being black. Atticus tried his absolute best to get Tom
the fairest trial and he did. Atticus is very proud of this fact, but Mr. Underwood's newspaper editorial
saw the whole trial as a sham. “Atticus had used every tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson,
but in the secret courts of men's hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella
Ewell opened her mouth and screamed." (323) We soon later find out the verdict of his trial. Tom
Robinson is found guilty, and is receiving the electric chair as punishment due to the fact that rape is a
capital offense in the state of Alabama. The night that Tom Robinson is taken to prison, he finds a chance
a to escape and takes it. “He was running. It was during their exercise period. They said he just broke into
a blind raving charge at the fence and started climbing over it.”(315) He not only was caught, but he was
shot seventeen times. Atticus shares this news with Scout, Calpurnia and Miss Maudie.
Furthermore, the man who accused Tom Robinson of raping Mayella Ewell, was Bob Ewell,
Mayella’s father. Bob Ewell is...