To Kill A Mockingbird Racial Injustice Analysis

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In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee develops the important idea of racial injustice through the character of Tom Robinson. This novel is set in Southern America in the 1930’s, when racism was anything but uncommon. At this time the fight against slavery was won but African Americans were still segregated from white Americans. They had to live in different parts of the city, had to go to different schools and churches. In the novel Tom Robinson symbolised the racial injustice that existed at that time, he was symbolised by the mockingbird and his trial represents change. In the 1930’s black Americans were not seen as equals and treated unfairly. Throughout the novel we see the racial injustice that existed at that time through…show more content…
Atticus explains to Jem and Scout after receiving air riffles for Christmas that “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy... but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” This direct speech presents the idea to the reader that mockingbirds haven’t done anything wrong, they only try to please people and are defenceless against people. Later Atticus says that the worst thing a white man can do is cheat a black man. This is the case when Tom Robinson tries to help Mayella Ewell. Mayella tried to do the unthinkable – kiss a black man. Later she tries to get rid of her guilt by blaming Tom Robinson for raping her. In this case Tom did nothing wrong, he only tried to help Mayella and is defenceless against the court as a white man’s word will always be placed above a black man’s. This reveals Tom as the mockingbird as both are innocent, helpful and defenceless. This shows us how cruel racism was in America. Even after slavery was abolished groups such as the Klu Klux Clan believed that Black people should be killed when they stepped out of line. Between 1882 and 1968 4743 lynching’s occurred in the United States. Americans thought that this was the way things should be and they did not see how cruel racism really
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