Concept Of Racism In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Grace Graham Block: B English 1 Ms. Fields Thursday, September 19, 2014 To Kill A Mockingbird by: Harper Lee To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is a fictional book set in the small segregated town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the 1930’s. Narrated by young girl named Scout Finch who is growing up with her older brother Jem and friend Dill. Scout explores with little understanding the concept of racism through the town gossip, and her own first hand experiences. She begins learning more about her father…show more content…
Caroline (Scout’s teacher) is angry with Scout because she discovers Scout is literate and feels Scout is not taught correctly how to read by her dad. Scout goes home angry at Ms. Caroline, and explains her day to her father. Scout says, “Atticus said I had learned many things today…but if I had put [myself] in [Scout’s teacher’s] shoes [I'd have seen it was an honest mistake on her part” (p. 33). Here Scout realizes that when she looks at things from another’s perspective, people gain a greater understanding of another’s actions. Her realization is brought about by Atticus’ discussion with her regarding Ms. Caroline. Despite the early introduction to this lesson, Scout doesn’t fully understand it, or at least learned it yet. This idea that Atticus presents is a core concept of perspective in the novel and gives the plot legs to stand on. It is the basis for Atticus’s morals and legal strategies. Later in the novel, Atticus reminds Scout and Jem that you can’t fully understand a person, “until you climb into his skin and walk around in it” (p. 33). By that he means to to look at things from someone else's point of view which is important for Scout to know to help her cope with enormous controversy and adversity. If Scout had applied that lesson to multiple events in the novel, then she would have an easier time dealing with…show more content…
Tom's story is definitely a common one, many coloured people living in the south during Harper Lee’s time period were prosecuted or accused for no other reason than their skin colour (example: Scottsboro Boys). African Americans were an easy way to lay the blame on someone else if you were feeling guilt. Mayella was feeling shame and self-reproach after the she lied about what happened the day she claimed Tom raped her, and she-along with her father found an easy way to get rid of those feelings—by accusing Tom of raping her. The men deciding his fate weren’t willing to stretch themselves and go beyond the boundaries of color to save a man’s life. Both Tom and his town would have been a lot better off if the jury would have been able and willing to see his side of the story or if Mayella had thought about how her decisions might affect Tom, like what Atticus said to Scout on the first day of school, “‘First of all,’ Atticus said, ‘If you can learn this simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view’” (p. 33). This statement connects the reader back to the theme of the novel. Even when Atticus is threatened, his way of thinking remains after the trial. Atticus was approached by Mayella's father, Bob, when he sees Atticus near the post office one day. Bob spits in his face and threatens

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