Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird

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“To Kill A Mockingbird” is a book that takes many turns which makes it not easy to put down. It is set in Maycomb, Alabama around the time where slavery still existed. The story is focused around a trial where Atticus Finch has chosen to defend a black man named Tom Robinson. When read at the present time it is not felt as a big deal but at the time it was more than a big deal. It was something no one else remotely thought of doing. Tom Robinson is a man being accused of raping a women. In Maycomb, Alabama at the time, racism was a problem. The book goes through the struggles that Atticus has when defending Tom Robinson. This trial brings out the best and the ultimate worst of different people. For Jem and Scout, their perspectives of the world change. “To Kill A Mockingbird” exemplifies contrasting personalities and symbolism to make a moral novel that can be learned from.

Harper Lee was born in Alabama on April 28, 1926. Her father, Amasa Coleman, was a lawyer just like Atticus Finch in the book. Many of the people that were part of Harper Lee’s life were also conveyed in the book. Another example is her older brother. In the book Scout has an older brother who is adventurous just like her Harper’s brother was. Harper Lee grew up in Alabama and wrote the book around 1960. At this time African Americans were being held from their natural rights that they had. The Emancipation Proclamation was only issued in 1963. As Harper Lee grew up in Alabama at this time, she saw much discrimination against African Americans which led to inspiration for the book. Harper Lee attended college to become a lawyer like her father but dropped out to pursue her writing career. Truman Capote was a writer who was part of Harper Lee’s life. His summer visits inspired the character Dill in the story. Many of the characters and conflicts of the story reflect on what Harper Lee saw throughout her life.

Harper Lee uses characters that have personalities that can be very different. Much of the county is split on racism. Many of the people there feel that the black people are less equal. Even with this attitude present there are still some who treat the black people right. One of them is Atticus Finch. Atticus did not hesitate when he was asked to defend Tom. This shows his courage to stand up for what is right. Atticus is surrounded by his family with includes Jem and Scout. Scout is a young girl who can turn up a but naughty at times like when she is rude to Walter Cunningham. Then there is Jem who is her older brother. Jem is more mature and can be seen trying to impress Atticus rather than disappointing him. Jem explains something very important to Scout before he goes to get his pants back from the Radley house.

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