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The Destructive Nature Of Racism In To Kill A Mockingbird

2432 words - 10 pages

Harper Lee grew up in the small town of Monroeville, Alabama where she lived with her parents Amasa Coleman and Frances Finch Lee. After graduating high school Lee attended Huntingdon College and The University of Alabama before she eventually quit school to pursue a writing career in New York City (Altman n.p.). The time frame in Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird is very important in helping the reader full understand racism and discrimination. “Racism permeates every idea and inch of this book from the loss of the Robinson trial, the discrimination against Atticus, and the contempt of Jem and Scout” (Satyasi n.p.). Throughout the whole novel you will find themes of prejudice and guilt-innocence involving Tom Robinson. Tom Robinson is guilty of living in a prejudice society and even though he tries to escape from prison the novel states that prejudice will overcome with hope. In To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee reveals the destructive nature of racism and discrimination.
The Ewell’s are such a racist family because they falsely accused Tom Robinson of raping Mayella Ewell. We are first introduced to the Ewell’s on Scout’s first day of school when Burris Ewell shocked his teacher Miss. Caroline with his filthy appearance. “He was the filthiest human I had ever seen. His neck was dark gray and the backs of his hands were rusty, and his fingernails were black deep into the quick” (Lee29). The Ewell children never came to school on a regular basis, they only came on the first day so they would not get in trouble with the sheriff. The Ewell’s were also racist, but it was mainly the father Bob Ewell and his daughter Mayella. “That nigger yonder took advantage of me {Mayella} and if you fine fancy gentleman don’t wanna do nothing about it then you’re all yellow stinkin’ cowards, stinkin’ cowards the lot of you” (Lee 214). Mayella is the definition of what you call a lonely girl because along with her father she would lie to end an innocent man’s life because nobody showed her the affection she wanted. “Mayella (The White Woman) was s poor woman looking for an excuse of her father’s abuse towards her so she picked Tom as an excuse” (Barron n.p.) Mayella only accused Tom of raping her because her father Bob Ewell was physically abusing her and Bob Ewell went right along with her lies. “I knowed who it was, all right lived down yonder in that nigger-nest, passed the house every day. Jedge, I’ve asked this country for fifteen years to clean out that nest yonder they’re dangerous to live around sides devaluing my property---“ (Lee 200). Bob Ewell will do whatever it takes to keep the secret about him abusing his daughter Mayella away from the residents of Maycomb. “Her [Mayella Ewell] advances startle Bob Ewell and bring out his greatest fear and he is willing to end an innocent man’s life because of it” (Smykowski n.p.). Bob Ewell is the type of man who does not care about how his decisions affect anybody else, as long as it does not back fire on him he...

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