Racism in 'to Kill a Mockingbird'

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There are many destructive forces in this world that may destroy our humanity, beat down our beliefs and wreak havoc on our morals. Greed, arrogance, anger, ignorance… but none so powerful as racism. Racism is the worst kind of prejudice in society, and as illustrated in â€To Kill a Mockingbird’ by what befalls Tom and Helen Robinson and Bob Ewell, it can ruin people’s lives. An unnecessary evil, it brings down misery in some way to all who harbour or are victim to it. The most apparent victim of racism in â€To Kill a Mockingbird’ is Tom Robinson, the black man who is accused of raping Mayella Ewell. Falsely accused of the crime by Mayella and her father Bob Ewell, Tom is brought before a prejudiced, white jury for trial. Atticus Finch knows the man is innocent and proves as much, but despite his best efforts, the racism in the minds of the jury wins. They deliver a verdict of guilty. Tom is sentenced to death. Although Atticus is sure they may have a chance if they try an appeal, Tom believes that he will once again be judged by the colour of his skin, and not by his innocence. Rather than take that chance, he decided to take his own and attempted to escape from jail. He was shot seventeen times. The Finch family are the only ones to show him any sympathy or understanding. Atticus says: “I couldn’t in truth say that we had more than a good chance. I guess Tom was tired of taking white men’s chances and preferred to take his own.” (TKAM, pg. 237). Whatever chance he chose, Tom faced an ill fate with racism’s stamp on it. If he returned to court, the racist jury would convict him and he would be hung, and when he tried to escape, the racist prison guards not only killed him, but mutilated his body with unnecessary bullets. Tom Robinson’s life was first ruined, then ended, by racism. Also victimized by racism and its
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