Literary Citicism In To Kill a Mockingbird

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The Effect of Racism on Maycomb County Atticus Finch once stated, “The evil assumption that all Negroes lie, all Negroes are immoral beings; all Negroes should not be trusted around our women. Whoever came up with that is very uneducated.” Atticus’s opinion on racism in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is voiced many times throughout the novel. The novel is set back in the 1930’s and during that time racism in Maycomb County was a big issue. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses the perspective of Atticus’s six year old daughter and son to reinforce the moral theme that it is children who have the most effect and who are at most risk for their development in Maycomb County, and therefore need to end racial segregation. The presence of racism in Maycomb County has a big impact on many of its citizens and is very evident throughout the novel. “In the novel there are repeated image-patterns and themes which provide a context and a sense of depth for this central concern of racial prejudice; which shows the central theme of racial hostility towards blacks by Southern whites” (Nicholson 89). Colin Nicholson voices his opinion on the novel saying that the image patterns and themes evident in the novel really show the central theme of racial hostility in the town of Maycomb. There are many events that support Nicolson’s opinion on the novel such as the fire that engulfed Miss Maudie Atkinson’s house. The fire that night that engulfed Miss Maudie Atkinson’s house can be seen as the prejudice of Maycomb County; as the fire melted the snow from the snowman, and left nothing but a clump of mud. The fire depicts the prejudice people of the county saying that blacks and whites are not the same (Smykowski). The fire can be seen as a symbol of racism throughout Maycomb County because as the fire, representing the whites, melted away the snow there was just a clump of
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