To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee and Higher Learning, composed by John Singleton, both portray similar issues of justice and injustice through literary and film techniques and display comparable attitudes, ideologies and beliefs in which the characters perceive justice. Both texts, set in the mid twentieth century, occurred in a time where society differentiated from each other, in particular prejudice between races was a major contributor to the division of society. Racial Prejudice affected the connection in which communities where dependent upon, and resulted in disarray throughout. Depicted in both texts are characters that fight for justice, fight for injustice or turn a blind eye on justice. In To Kill a Mockingbird, characters responses towards racial prejudice differ across the community.
In Harper Lee's highly successful novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, the author uses the literary device of a metaphor as a major motif in the book. Set in the 1930s Deep South - a time of great prejudice and racism- the novel unfolds as an account of injustice to the most gracious yet unjustly accused citizens of the town of Maycomb. The gentle, but African-American Tom Robinson is unfairly put on trial for the alleged rape of young Mayella Ewell. Boo Radley is victimized and ostracized by the community based on the town fables that the citizens have created about him, forcing him to live in solitude inside his house. Atticus Finch is ridiculed by the townspeople for being a moral human being and sticking to his beliefs in defending an innocent colored man.
The most apparent victim of racism in âTo Kill a Mockingbirdâ 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.
Perhaps mockingbirds’ beautiful voices is the reason why Harper Lee chose them to symbolize “innocence and vulnerability” in her novel To Kill a Mockingbird (Bernard 78). Whatever the reason, Lee repeatedly emphasizes that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird, which later becomes a symbol for Tom, Boo, and racism in general. The theme of racism is primarily portrayed through Lee’s use of symbolism in To Kill a Mockingbird, a story in the 1930s South where racism, although much changed, still prevails today. Although racism still exists, portrayals such as the ones in Lee’s novel have changed people’s views on African Americans and other races. The mockingbird is a major symbol in the novel because of Atticus’ belief that it is a sin to kill this bird.
In conclusion racial prejudice plays a g role in the novel To Kill A Mockingbird. Whites discriminate against blacks but blacks also discriminate against whites. This racism is influenced by the characters values, traditions, and beliefs. They form their own opinions based on beliefs which then leads to prejudice. Racism is a big dilemma in the novel and it contributes greatly to the plot.
Prejudice is Everywhere “There’s nothing more sickening to me than a low-grade white man who’ll take advantage of a Negro’s ignorance” (Lee 221). Atticus, the narrator’s father in To Kill a Mockingbird, expresses his disgust in the manner of how white men treat the African-American race. This part of the novel is only one example of the prejudices observed in To Kill a Mockingbird, as the novel highlights the issue throughout. Racism was a major issue a large number of men, women, and even children had to face during the time periods of the novels To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Scout, the protagonist of To Kill a Mockingbird, is a young girl living in Maycomb, Alabama.
HOW DOES HARPER LEE PRESENT THE THEME OF PREJUDICE IN ‘TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD’? Prejudice is defined as an "opinion formed without taking the time and care to judge fairly", and this is a theme that Harper Lee distinctly exploits throughout ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. The majority of people in Maycomb shared the typical mentality of prejudice, which was present in the 1930’s Southern States of America. There are several characters throughout the novel who have been victims of prejudice from the judgements of Maycomb society and even the reader. The novel does not solely highlight racial prejudice, through characters such as Tom Robinson, but it also illuminates the gullibility of society and how dubious figures of evidence can cause prejudice to an individual, such as Boo Radley.
Underwood simply figured it was a sin to kill cripples, be they standing, sitting, or escaping. He likened Tom’s death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children…” (241). Tom’s comparison to a song or mockingbird was best conveyed in the novel by the previous quote, which refers back to Atticus’s earlier quote. Atticus’s quote is best clarified by Miss Maudie, who states that mockingbirds not only have no detriment to people, that they create music for people (a benefit). Tom Robinson died a mockingbird because not only did he not
Perhaps the most relatable event to the symbolism, the Tom Robinson case depicts the destruction of innocence first hand. Robinson, a respectful black man, is wrongly accused of raping and beating Mayella Ewell. Atticus clearly shows the whole courtroom that Tom is incapable of this crime, and even brings light to the person who actually beat Mayella. Instead of recognizing Tom Robinson's innocence, the jury was blinded by racism and found him guilty. This directly relates to the symbolism Harper Lee implemented previously in the book, showing how wrong it is to harm something, or someone, that did nothing but sing, and in Tom’s case, help Mayella.
Injustice and Discrimination in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” In Harper Lee’s novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” injustice and discrimination are prevalent in the town of Maycomb. Some of the types of injustice and discrimination confronted in this novel include racial, religion, sex and lifestyle. Harper Lee often offers subtle remedies that would put an end to the constant injustices in the novels diverse society. I think Harper Lee did an excellent job of portraying a small town and gave a convincing sense of community and the way small towns are. The prejudice in Maycomb was your typical kind which was based on ignorance.