Effects Of Racism In To Kill A Mockingbird

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A barrier between humans has survived for centuries, and the existence of this barrier is driven by a chaotic force known as racism. Over the years, racism has morphed into a power so vicious it tears people apart and soils the unity of humanity, creating a division between the different types of people who live together. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the prime targets of racism are the members of the African-American community, and they are treated poorly by many of the people who live in Maycomb. Racism plays a large part in the way the social hierarchy of Maycomb is organized, and many of the white residents perceive black people lowly in this system. Because African-Americans are viewed as inferior beings in Maycomb’s…show more content…
Therefore, Lee suggests racism is a destructive force that can plague the core values of a society. To begin, Lee portrays the effects of racism on diminishing the values of a society through an individual. Throughout the trial, bias is shown against Tom Robinson from many people in Maycomb, and he is eventually believed to be guilty. Once the conclusion of the trial is reached, Scout reflects back on the verdict, and she comes to an understanding of the case. She narrates, “Atticus had used every tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men’s hearts Atticus had no case” (276). “Secret courts” of the men’s hearts compare an individual’s belief system to the way the court system runs in this metaphor. Throughout the case, the people on the jury conceal their feelings about Tom, and instead create their own “courts” within themselves. The court case and the “secret courts” are unfair due to the fact that Atticus has “no case” despite all of the “tools” that he has as a “free” man. The “tools”…show more content…
Black and white people are segregated in Maycomb, and black people in the town often have shabbier facilities than the white people. As Scout approaches Calpurnia’s church, she explains, “First Purchase African M.E. Church was in the Quarters outside...across the old sawmill tracks. It was an ancient paint-peeled frame building...paid for from the first earnings of free slaves. Negroes worshipped in it on Sundays and white men gambled in it on the weekend” (134). In this passage of imagery, the church is described as being “outside” the town of Maycomb, and it is also said to be “ancient” and have “paint-peeled frames.” These words display how African-Americans are considered outcasts of Maycomb, hence the fact that they were “outside” the boundaries of Maycomb. “Ancient” and “paint-peeled” display that the African-Americans are viewed so lowly that they are not even able to get proper facilities for their church from the town. The fact that the church is used for “gambling” by the “white men” when the church is supposed to be a respected place for people to worship shows how even churches get different levels of acknowledgement because of the particular type of people that attend them. Another way that African-Americans are physically divided can be seen during the gap before the trial starts. As Scout is glancing

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