To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

2911 WordsMar 12, 201412 Pages
One of the aims of to kill mockingbird is to open the readers eyes to the different kinds of prejudice that still encapsulated America in the 1960’s. Harper Lee uses Maycomb’s corrupt society as a microsm for America as well as the rest of the world. She explores themes involving those born into racial prejudice. Lee presents racial prejudice predominantly using examples like Tom Robinson and Calpurnia. She uses Tom Robinson’s character to make the readers aware of the racial prejudice that personifies them, “I’m simply defending a Negro - his names Tom Robinson. He lives in that settlement, he’s a member of Cal’s church, they’re clean living folk”, this shows how Maycomb have alienated and belittles all the Negroes, the fact that Atticus has to tell Scout his name conveys the possibility of an derogatory name that emphasizes the oppression and aggravation the “niggers” had to endure. By mentioning there, “Members of Cal’s church” and that they’re, “clean living folk”, suggests the attempt to elevate Tom’s reputation by mentioning all the old-fashioned customs that formed the lives of ‘normal’ folk. The actuality of Atticus having to do this outlines the poor reputation the Negroes had at the time, this is one of many examples where Lee challenges the attitude whites had towards the blacks by putting candidly into the text their prejudiced behaviour. The protagonist who questions Atticus’ motives, “Do you defend niggers Atticus?” makes Tom sound like a criminal. Scouts naivety builds and contributes towards the way Negroes were considered, she explains it immaturely from her point of view accentuating how largely racism exemplified America, “S’what everybody at school says”, Scouts surrounded by lower status’ such as the Ewell’s and the Cunningham’s whose previous opinions and racist values had been passed down due to their family, “My folks said your daddy was a

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