Racism In To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

The central narrative tension of the trial of Tom Robinson is something which emerges only after the initial narrative of the relationship between and games played by Scout, Jem and Dill, and their fascination with the Radley Place and the ambiguous character of Boo Radley.The device of the unreliable first-person child narrative is one which allows Lee to explore the tension between nature and nurture, between that which is innate in human behaviour and that which is learned.In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee presents the issue of discrimination, a common occurrence in the 1930s.

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When Scout wanted to invite Walter Cunningham over, Aunt Alexandra’s reply is “Jean Louise, there is no doubt in my mind that they’re good folks. ” When Scout presses further, asking why she can’t play with Walter, Aunt Alexandra responds “Because he is poor white trash.

” These attitudes expressed by Aunt Alexandra demonstrate how the wealthy felt towards the poorer people in the 1930’s.

The rich people had very little respect for the poor of Maycomb.

Aunt Alexandra, sister of Atticus is very prejudiced towards the poor people of Maycomb.

Atticus even jokes that “court would never get a complete case tried with women on the jury because women would interrupt to ask questions”. The most prominent type of discrimination in To Kill a Mockingbird is racial discrimination, this leads to the death of an innocent black man, Tom Robinson. In the court hearing, it seems that Tom is innocent because the person who beat Mayella led primarily with their left hand, and Tom’s left hand is crippled.

Even though there is no sufficient evidence that Tom tried to rape Mayella, the jury convicts Tom.

This resulted in gender and racial discrimination and extreme poverty.

During this time period many people were under extreme pressure just to keep alive.

Aunt Alexandra is not the only person who is discriminative towards women, even Atticus who is said to not judge anyone, also discriminates against women.

On page 244, Atticus tells Jem that “women are not allowed to serve on juries in Alabama”. ” The gender discrimination displayed by Atticus and Aunt Alexandra prove that in the 1930’s women were not acknowledged or treated the same as men.

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