To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel
To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel, written by Harper Lee and it manages the subjects of race, class and gender roles. It is the story of a brother and sister, Jem and Scout Finch, who live in a small Alabama town with their lawyer father, Atticus. The two siblings, along with their friend Dill, become fascinated with a scary old house on their street called the Radley Place. The house is owned by Nathan Radley, whose brother, Arthur (nicknamed Boo), has lived there for many years without ever coming out. The narrator in the novel is called Scout Finch, and the story is told from the perspective of her. Since she is a child, she is, naturally, prone to ask questions about why whites treat blacks the way they do. Scout wants to comprehend what racism means and how it affects the people in her life. The vast majority of the general population are supremacist and prejudicial. They have pitiless sentiments and judgments about black people in the town. The main subject of the novel is prejudice and forms of prejudice including racism, classism, and sexism are portrayed by Maycomb’s citizens.
Pierre Berton, a noted Canadian author once said “Racism is a refuge for the ignorant. It seeks to divide and to destroy. It is the enemy of freedom, and deserves to be met head-on and stamped out.” This statement demonstrates the destruction of 1930s’ occured by the racist thought. Racism and its destruction never ceased during this time, it continued moving. Therefore, the 1930s’ racial separation made it a tremendous battle for the African Americans in their every day life. There was no justice for a black man in 1930s’ Alabama town as well. In the book, almost every character is either exposed to prejudice directly or involved in a situation that contains prejudice. For instance, Tom Robinson who is a kind person, helps Mayella, a white woman, at whatever point she required help (Lee, 197). Scout became more acquainted with Tom a superior than previously and turns out saying to his father that Tom was a kind and nice guy (281). Tom helps Mayella by fixing a door and wardrobe for her. He feels sorry for her and fixes whatever needs to be fixed for her without hesitation. Tom’s being so kind to a white person, astonished others on the grounds that typically black people are not all that kind to a white person like Mayella. The primary feeling in this is Tom is feeling frustrated about Mayella that nobody is helping her. On the other hand, according to others Tom raped Mayella and harassed her physically because she has marks on her face and neck (185). Then this case is brought to trial. Meanwhile, Atticus agrees to defend him. He provides enough evidence to prove that Tom is innocent and that Bob Ewell, Mayella’s father, is responsible for the marks on her face and neck. However, the jury consists of all white people that convicts Tom any way. Even though Atticus’s evidence was pretty powerful and enough to prove that Tom is not guilty, the jury made a decision against Tom. However hard they tried to convince jury that Tom is not guilty, they could not succeed in convincing. During the time of the book, it was the time of 1930s’ when separation and racism was happening. Judge Taylor reads Tom’s guilty verdict towards the end of Chapter 21. Immediately before reading the verdict, Scout notices that the jury refuses to look at Tom Robinson. Sheriff Tate then hands Judge Taylor a piece of paper with the jury’s final decision written on it. Judge Taylor then reads the verdict by saying, “Guilty…guilty… guilty…guilty…” (233). Scout says that each “guilty” is a “separate stab” between Jem’s shoulders. Jem and other children lost their innocence as they see how things work. They witnessed that it does not matter whether a person is really guilty or not, what matters only is skin color. In the end, Tom lost the battle against society because of his color. He is shot while he is trying to “escape” from prison.
During his testimony against Tom, Bob Ewell shows how racist he is by saying, “I’ve asked my county for fifteen years to clean out that nest down yonder, they’re dangerous to live around sides devaluding my property” (175). He reflects his feelings towards black people including Tom. According to him, they are useless, rude and they can also steal the belongings of the Maycomb folks. He introduce them as they are posing danger so they should be wiped out of Maycomb. After the trial and death of Tom Robinson, Bob Ewell nourishes Atticus, Judge Taylor and Tom’s wife, Helen, hatred groundlessly. He attempts to rob Judge Taylor and to kill Scout and Jem just because their father defended Tom Robinson in the trial. But he fails and in the end he is the only one who passed away. His hatred of black people lead him to his own that. When it comes to white side, Bob Ewell is the most racist, but there is another side, and it is best shown in Lula. There is a church that called the First Purchase Church and only black people are permitted to attend the church. One day, Calpurnia wants to take Jem and Scout with her to the First Purchase Church but Lula stops them and says Calpurnia, “You ain’t got no business bringin’ white children he’re – they got their church and we ours'” (119). Lula’s objection to Jem and Scout shows that she accepts black and white segregation in the town. Racial prejudice is the main theme in the book. During the trial Bob Ewell and at the church Lula present their racist thoughts.
Separately, what Calpurnia experienced in the book is another example. She is the faithful houskeeper for Finch family and mother figure to Jem and Scout. Since she is black, Aunt Alexandra thinks that Calpurnia is not a good role model for Scout. Calpurnia is a black woman and a mother figure to Atticus’ children, but Aunt Alexandra thinks she is not a good role model for Scout and asked Atticus to tell Calpurnia that there is no need for her to remain in the house anymore. Knowing Calpurnia’s good influence on his children, Atticus got very angry with his sister and told her that Calpurnia was a member of the family and would not be leaving until she wants to leave. He knows that Calpurnia has an undeniable positive impact on raising Jem and Scout. Additionally, Aunt Alexandra feels uncomfortable talking serious matters when Calpurnia is around. At every opportunity she otherizes her and tries to make her feel outsider. Abraham Joshua Herschel, a Polish-born American rabbi, by saying “Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” illustrates how nonsense to bear grudge against someone because of his or her skin color.