To Kill A Mockingbird - Effects of Racism Essay

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When Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird was first published in 1960, it was instantly a success. The story takes place in Maycomb, Alabama, a very racist community. It is told from six-year-old Jean Louise “Scout” Finch’s point of view. Through her young, innocent eyes she sees the effects racism has on everyone in the town, whether they are black or white. Everybody in Maycomb county is affected by racism in one way or another; however there are three people who are particularly affected by it. Calpurnia, the black maid in the Finch residence, must lead two separate lives, one with black people and one with whites; they can never inter-mingle. Mister Dolphus Raymond is suppressed into pretending to be a drunk because he is a white man who marries a black woman, and has interracial children. Tom Robinson must suffer the most, he is seen as guilty for a crime he does not commit and sentenced to death, all because of the jury’s prejudice towards black people. Indeed, everyone in Maycomb County, whether they are black or white, is affected by racism, and sometimes all it takes to see it is a child. Calpurnia, the black maid in the Finch residence, has been greatly affected by racism. She must speak differently around white people than she does with black people because “It’s not necessary to tell all you know. It’s not ladylike…” (Lee, 126). White people have a greater education than black people, so Calpurnia must speak more distinctly while she works for the Finches. When she is at home in the black community she must use improper grammar because she does not wish to boast her higher education. Calpurnia is also affected by Aunt Alexandra’s almost constant prejudice, as Alexandra attempts to dismiss Calpurnia from her daily chores. Aunt Alexandra then tries to distract from her racist actions simply by saying the family “… [doesn’t] need her now.” (Lee,
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