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A Literary Analysis Of The Novel "To Kill A Mockingbird", By Harper Lee

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Autor:   •  November 14, 2010  •  5,005 Words (21 Pages)  •  1,312 Views

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Have you ever killed a mockingbird?

"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up other people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird" (Lee 94). Man believing in his superiority over other beings can easily defend killing a mockingbird as a just act. Hence, a mockingbird can be equated with an innocent person. White people then would always think that they are greater over the other races. Without much effort, they would constantly utilize this to rationalize the bigotry transpiring in their society.

With this, the term paper will focus on how racial discrimination took place during the Great Depression in the 1930's. Comparison of the mockingbird with an innocent person would aid the researchers in establishing points and completing this paper. Discrimination existed in the past, and is rapidly increasing in the present. This consequently leads to injustices. Certainly, people should be concerned in dipping with this matter in view of the fact that all of us, in one way or another are subjected to it. This is the main purpose why the researchers decided to engage in the topic of racial discrimination.

To begin with, racial discrimination brings about different forms of injustices in the society.

A. Statement of the Objectives

1. The researchers aim to analyze the different elements of the novel "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee and use it in order to confer discrimination presented in the story.

2. The researchers aspire to associate the issues discussed in the novel with the prevailing situations occurring in our society and situate the current condition of prejudice portrayed in the general public..

3. The researchers intend to create social awareness to the injustices that transpire in our society today.

B. Scope and Limitation

Although discrimination was extensively discussed in the novel "To Kill A Mockingbird", varying from racial, gender to creed inequity, this research paper will only encompass of a specific aspect discussed primarily in the novel which is racial discrimination. In this paper, the researchers will analyze the different elements of a novel, specifically, the setting, characters, metaphors, and a short summary of the novel "To Kill A Mockingbird". The researchers also hope to generate communal awareness among classes so as to create respect for diversity in terms of race, religious conviction and color.

C. Definition of Terms

1. Prejudice

Defined as an adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts. It may also be a detriment or injury caused to a person by preconceived, unfavorable conviction of others. Prejudice, as utilized in the context of the novel, is convicting a person without due process. The novel "To Kill A Mockingbird" illustrated prejudice against the black people.

2. Injustice

Characterized as a violation of what is right and may also be thought of as a deficiency in the justice system. Injustice is the immediate consequence of prejudice. It is a direct violation against one's right. Injustice was apparent when Tom Robinson was convicted solely because of his race.

3. Racism

Classified as a specific from of prejudice. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others. Consequentially, racism is discrimination or prejudice based on race.

4. Slavery

Identified as the state of one bound in servitude as the property of a slave holder or household. It can also be defined as a mode of production in which slaves constitute the principal work force. Due to racism, black people were automatically made to be slaves to the white people.

II. Summary of the Novel

For as long as people discriminate on the basis of color, creed, race and gender equality will be elusive which consequentially leads to inequity and injustice. "To Kill a Mockingbird" tells the mischievous adventures of three children whose innocence brought about self-discovery in addition to social enlightenment as they embark on the difficult path of adolescence. It is situated in Maycomb County, Alabama during the Great Depression, the era notorious for the prevalence of inequity amid nations. Narrated by Scout Finch, a girl at the age of six alongside her brother Jem, who is four years her senior. Both shared a significant relationship with their widowed father Atticus, a lawyer and extremely morally upright man.

Just before Scout was to start school they met Dill Haris who spent his summer near the Finches. The children amused themselves with local rumors about Boo Radley, who allegedly stabbed his father with a pair of scissors which rendered their feelings of inquisitiveness. They rewarded their curiosity by plotting different methods of driving Boo Radley out of his house, which was said to be haunted. They were caught by Atticus who firmly reprimands them. Still, they challenged this incident by sneaking to the Radley place at night and looking through its windows. However, Boo's brother thought he heard prowlers and began firing his gun. Due to the children's ardent desire to get away, Jem loses his pants in a gate. To prevent further chastisement, Jem returned to find his pants folded and coarsely sewn up. Afterwards, other mysterious events began to occur. A hollow tree near the Radley place often contains little presents for Jem and Scout. They decided to thank this anonymous benefactor by leaving a note inside the tree. To their anguish, Boo's brother plugged up the hole with cement.

Meanwhile, Atticus resolved to accept a case involving a black man named Tom Robinson who was accused of raping a white girl named Mayella Ewell, eldest daughter of Bob Ewell, an ignorant man who belonged to the lowest substratum in Maycomb society. As they belonged in a society where a white man's word is indisputable opposed to a black man's, the Finches had to cope with harsh criticism. Atticus insists upon going trough the case because his conscience could not let him do otherwise. He knows that Tom has almost no chance, still be intends to reveal truth and expose their bigotry.

Atticus asked his children

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