Racial Injustice In To Kill A Mockingbird

1357 words - 5 pages

In a desperate attempt to save his client, Tom Robinson, from death, Atticus Finch boldly declares, “To begin with, this case should never have come to trial. This case is as simple as black and white” (Lee 271). The gross amounts of lurid racial inequality in the early 20th century South is unfathomable to the everyday modern person. African-Americans received absolutely no equality anywhere, especially not in American court rooms. After reading accounts of the trials of nine young men accused of raping two white women, novelist Harper Lee took up her pen and wrote To Kill a Mockingbird, a blistering exposition of tragic inequalities suffered by African Americans told from the point of view of a young girl. Though there are a few trivial differences between the events of the Scottsboro trials and the trial of Tom Robinson portrayed in To Kill a Mockingbird, such as the accusers’ attitudes towards attention, the two cases share a superabundance of similarities. Among these are the preservation of idealist views regarding southern womanhood and excessive brutality utilized by police.
The paradigm of southern womanhood was a matter of great importance to the people of the early 20th century South. So important was the institution of southern womanhood to the culture at the time when they were willing to lie, and even kill to protect it. Such is the case in To Kill a Mockingbird¸ when Mayella Ewell lies about Tom Robinson raping her to ensure that she is not looked down upon, as anyone known to be consorting with a black man would have been. Atticus illustrates his disgust with this situation when he says he is “in favor of Southern womanhood as much as anybody, but not for preserving polite fiction at the expense of human life” (Lee 196). Atticus is describing an all too common occurrence. Rather than face the truth and the negative consequences that would come to them, white women, when caught in a compromising position with a colored man, would often cry rape, and subject the colored man unfairly to all manners of cruel and unusual punishment. Preservation of southern womanhood at all costs is also an important factor in the Scottsboro trials. It was illegal for white women to consort with black men in Alabama during the 1930s. In order to avoid the legal and social ramifications for coming onto black men, the two girls lied to authorities without any consideration for the pain and suffering they would cause the young black boys and their families. The Encyclopedia of Alabama describes this story, delineating, “In the hope of avoiding vagrancy and morality charges, the women falsely accused the nine young black men…. of rape” (Encyclopedia of Alabama 1). In order to avoid the shame and legal trouble that would arise from their association with colored men, the two girls threw the innocent black men under the bus. The girls, by virtue of their employment as mill workers and prostitutes, were already at a lower than normal social class for...

Find Another Essay On Racial Injustice in To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird - Racial Issues

1455 words - 6 pages everyone is your neighbour. For in the bible it says, "Love thy neighbour as you love yourself " Love knows no boundaries or distinctions. The story of the Samaritan's compassion is a model for everybody. Racial origins were irrelevant in this passage; the test was which one loved his neighbour as himself.Roman Catholics believe that Jesus made everyone how he wanted them to be and this in turn means that every single person is equal regardless of

Racism, Injustice, and Discrimination in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

1148 words - 5 pages Racism, Injustice, and Discrimination in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird According to Shackleford, “The novel portrays a young girl's love for her father and brother and the experience of childhood during the Great Depression in a racist, segregated society, which uses superficial and materialistic values to judge outsiders, including the powerful character Boo Radley” (Shackelford). The main character relates closely with her father because

The Theme of Injustice Depicted in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

1309 words - 5 pages In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, injustice is a main theme that is reflected towards many characters. To Kill a Mockingbird, is a novel written by Harper Lee and published in the nineteen-sixties. Many characters in the story are treated unfairly in society due to racial or prejudicial attitudes. Overall these characters are innocent victims of injustice. Atticus, Boo Radley, and Tom Robinson are considered to be mockingbirds in the novel

Racism, Injustice, and Discrimination in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

2025 words - 8 pages a black man, no one would ever believe this, when Tom Robinson tried to escape from prison he was shot dead. Tom Robinson was the mockingbird in this novel (Lee. 94). Lee analyzes discrimination Lee analyzes injustice in her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. The novel discusses during the trial of Tom Robinson that Mayella Ewell was not convicted of, yet Tom Robinson was previously convicted of a crime that they had no proof of they only had the

Challenging Racial Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

641 words - 3 pages Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960, is a novel which explores the theme of challenging racial prejudice. Within this novel, Lee has portrayed unintentional racial prejudice through the characters Atticus Finch, Link Deas and Scout Finch. With these characters, and their roles in exploring the theme of racial prejudice, Harper Lee has set unintentional boundaries for readers, as result, racial prejudicial thinking from

Theme of Racial Prejudice in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

1717 words - 7 pages How Does Harper Lee Develop the Theme of Racial Prejudice in the Novel “To Kill A Mockingbird”? “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee is a novel set in the 1930s in a racially prejudice town called Maycomb County. A black man is accused of raping a white girl, and although it’s clear that he did not do it, the all white jury refuse to take a black man’s word over a white girl’s. Through the innocent eyes of an eight year old girl, the theme

Racial intolerance as demonstrated in Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird"

1029 words - 4 pages Intolerance based upon race and upon a person's age have been an enduring element of society since the beginning of the 20th century. In Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird", the community of Maycomb demonstrates racial and age based intolerance throughout the novel. The most prevalent form of discrimination in Maycomb is white intolerance against blacks. Interestingly, blacks discriminating against whites is another form of intolerance

Racial Prejudice and Oppression in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

2162 words - 9 pages Racial Prejudice and Oppression in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird 'Democracy,' she said. 'Does anybody have a definition?' ... 'Equal rights for all, special privileges for none' (Lee 248). To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee's only novel, is a fictional story of racial oppression, set in Maycomb, A.L. in 1925 to 1935, loosely based on the events of the Scottsboro trials. Unlike the story however, the racial discrimination and

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee- an essay on how justice and injustice is represented in the novel

1503 words - 6 pages it and not hush it up." (Heck Tate, pg304). In either case, the murder of Bob Ewell, and Arthur Radley being let off for it, is an example of justice, whether it is for the good of justice, or for injustice's sake.Throughout To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus, Tom Robinson, his trial and subsequent death, the treatment of Arthur Radley and Bob Ewell's death, and the prejudice of people, whether it be racial, sexual, or a misconception show the issues of justice, injustice, and how they are represented throughout the novel.

Racial Prejudice: Past, Present, and Future "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

1153 words - 5 pages saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever… Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust…Never." (Beck, 939) The final topic is the injustice in which colored people experienced. Blacks, referred to as Negroes, in "To Kill a Mockingbird" were treated as if they were dirt in the presence of a white

To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee Racial prejudices within to kill a mockingbird and an alternate text for alternate examples

993 words - 4 pages It is perceived that a court should be an un-bias means of determining the guilt or innocence of the accused. This is not always the case with racial, social and personal prejudices influencing decisions.It is clear in 'To Kill a Mockingbird' that there is racial prejudices in the town, when Atticus is assigned the job of defending a 'nigga' in a rape case he knows that there is no hope for Tom Robertson he still defends him and tries to fight a

Similar Essays

Racial Injustice In To Kill A Mockingbird

1303 words - 5 pages To Kill a Mockingbird, by Nelle Harper Lee, was written in 1960. During the 1960's great movements towards equality and integration were taking place, there was great social injustice towards African-Americans. This was Lee's entire plot of the book he wanted to show how even when all evidence proofed a black man innocent when his word is faced the that of a white person or person of the privileged society, he will be found guilty. In To Kill a

Injustice In To Kill A Mockingbird

890 words - 4 pages Whether the injustice is mental, economical, or physical, the innocent person it effects, will always suffer. Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird has more than an abundant supply of injustice present in novel. Miss Maudie says it best when she states that it's "a sin to kill a mockingbird" (p.94). This statement reflects the following characters because they can all be considered mockingbirds, and since they were all harmed in some way they can

Racial Discrimination In To Kill A Mockingbird

588 words - 2 pages To kill a mockingbird is an extremely powerful book highlighting the horrors of racial discrimination in the “Deep South” of the United States of America. Discuss. To kill a mockingbird is an extremely powerful book highlighting the horrors of racial discrimination in the “Deep South” of the United States of America. It focuses on the racial issues concerning a staunch, typically “white” country town in the “Deep South.” This essay

Racial Prejudice In Harper Lee´S To Kill A Mockingbird

1366 words - 5 pages Life is like a thrill ride; one never knows what will be in store for them. Many characters in the story To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee feel the same way about life, having experienced many surprising and unexpected turns of events. This story is about a sleepy southern town filled with prejudice, and a lawyer’s quest, along with his children Scout and Jem, to take steps in ridding the town of its prejudiced attitude. Despite being a