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Why Not To Ban Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

1317 words - 5 pages

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee has been challenged/banned countless times since it’s original publication in 1960. The reasoning people could have behind banning it is that they feel that the racism, language and subject matter in the book is offensive, inappropriate, immoral and that it encourages and condones such things. To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in Maycomb, a small town in Alabama, during the depression from 1935-1937, and is told from the perspective of a little girl named Scout. In the book Scout’s father Atticus teaches her and her brother Jem many valuable lessons. The things Atticus teaches Scout and Jem are things we all need to know. To Kill a Mockingbird is an inspirational book that teaches valuable moral values, and should not be banned.
It can be argued that To Kill a Mockingbird should be banned because of the foul language used in the book; for example damn, hell, whore-lady, goddamn whore and nigger ( Lee 90, 94, 221). Some might argue that it encourages cursing and portrays it as an acceptable thing, but in truth it does the complete opposite. When Scout asks Atticus if he defends niggers, he discourages her from using words like nigger (Lee 85). Scout stops using the term nigger but starts using words like damn hell and whore-lady. She think if she talks way than Atticus will stop sending her to school, because that where she learned those words. Atticus knows what she’s trying to do, so he decides to ignore it thinking that when she realizes it’s not going to work she’ll stop. When Scout says to her uncle Jack things like “That’s a damn story.” and “Pass the damn ham, please.” he doesn’t just ignore her (Lee 90). He sits her down and tells her that he doesn’t like words like damn and hell, and that he doesn’t want to hear any words like that. Later when Scout calls Francis a whore-lady Jack doesn’t just let it go (Lee 96). Although there is a lot of foul language in To Kill a Mockingbird readers are not encouraged to use that kind of language.
Racial prejudice is another reason it could be argued that To Kill a Mockingbird should be banned. Scouts father Atticus is a lawyer, and he defends Tom Robinson, an innocent black man accused of raping a white women. Everyone in Maycomb believes Tom Robinson is guilty solely based off of the fact that he’s black. Although Atticus knows that a jury would never take the word of a black man over the word of a white man, he still does his best to defend Tom Robinson. Atticus was able to show that Tom Robinson could not have been the one responsible for beating Mayella, because she was beaten on the right side of her face, meaning that someone who was left handed hit her. Tom Robinson was crippled; he had no use of his left arm. Despite this and the fact that there was no evidence that Tom Robinson raped Mayella Ewell the jury still found him guilty. Obviously there is racial prejudice in this book, but it’s definitely not encouraged or condoned. Atticus believes that no...

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