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The Issue of Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Essay

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The Issue of Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
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Innocence - Children are born innocent. They learn prejudice from
society: from their parents and the adults around them.

The Mockingbird acts as a metaphor for innocence as Atticus states "
Shoot all the blue jays you want …….. but remember it's a sin to kill
a mockingbird." Pg 98

The book begins by portraying the innocence and world of play of a
tomboyish six year old girl and her ten year old brother.

At the beginning of the book Jem starts out as a playful child who was
often a companion to Scout. Later you see his personality change from
immature to mature as he grows to understand the ways of life, racism
and toleration.

In the Finch household, Calpurnia, the black housekeeper acts as a
mother figure and discipliarian towards Scout as in the scene where
Scout unknowingly insults a poor neighbour boy and Cal teaches her how
to behave. Atticus trusts Cal , relies on her support raising his
children and considers her part of the family.

While their father Atticus' motive may have been to protect their
innocence, they are abruptly brought out of their carefree world by
their fathers unpopular but courageous defense of a black man falsely
accused of raping a southern white woman. Racism dooms the accused man

Scout is unaware of the existence of racism and prejudice.

When a boy at school teases Scout about her father defending "niggers"
Scout fights him over it even though she doesn't know what it means.

In t...


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...ess
generous or who will practise unfair kinds of behavior . This relates
to Atticus' courtroom speech that there are honest and dishonest
people everywhere.

" You know the truth, the truth is this: some Negroes lie., some
Negroes are immoral, some Negro men cannot be trusted around women
black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and
to no particular race of men" pg 217

Chptr 22

Miss Maudie points out that there were a network of people working on
Tom behalf including Mr Tate the sherriff. the black community, Mr
Taylor the judge.

Even though Atticus didn't win he did manage to keep the jury out in
discussion for longer than any one else could


"We're making a step --- it's just a baby step, but it's a step"
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