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Theme in to Kill a Mockingbird

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Racism was a very large part of society in the south during the 1930’s. Many colored people were thought of as less than their peers. Many of the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird were impacted by racial discrimination, including Calpurnia, and Tom Robinson and his family, and that’s why racism is the main theme explored in To Kill a Mockingbird. Most of the people in town are racists, Tom was guaranteed to lose because he is a black man accused by a white woman, and racist language is used throughout the book. The majority of white people in Maycomb are racist. Maycomb is separated into white and black neighbor hoods. Tom does not get a fair trial because of racism.

The first incident was Tom Robinson’s trial it was a major incident of racism. He was being tried for rape and assault of a white woman named Mayella Ewell with no proof that he did it. The worst thing is even though there was no proof provided of the situation most of Maycomb took Mayella’s side in the case because she was a white woman and he was a black man. Even though there is no proof of his crime, yet he faces hatred from citizens of his own community as well as the court. This trial provides an opportunity to examine the racist stance of an entire community.

The second incident of racism involves Atticus and his defense of Tom. He decides to stand with Tom because he believes his innocence. This decision invites the wrath of the Maycomb society. In chapter nine, scout’s classmate, Cecil Jacob, announces that Scout’s father is defending a ‘negro’ which causes a brawl between Scout and Cecil. Racism has poisoned the atmosphere so much that Scout forgets her promise and loses her temper. The association of this incident becomes prominent for supporting an innocent.

Another incident of racism involves a white character, Boo Radley, who stabs his father with scissors. Despite his crime, he is not locked up with the dark-skinned criminals in prison. He is, instead, locked up in the courthouse basement. The sheriff thinks it will be a harsh treatment if he is imprisoned with the black people. It is easy to notice the difference in the justice system as Boo, a white teen, receives a prejudicial treatment even after confessing his crime. On the other hand, innocent Tom faces ill-treatment because of his dark skin. This incident shows how prejudice discriminates people, and how people in authority lose the sense of justice and decision-making process.




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