To kill A Mockingbird Victor Ace 04/28/09 English 12 Mrs. Griffin Outline Thesis Statement: Harper Lees To Kill A Mockingbird brought about social awareness of the racial prejudice going on in that time period. Introduction I. Time period A. The 1930’s . B. Alabama. C. lawyer defending innocent black man accused of rape. D. Showed the world the racial prejudice going on.. II. Themes in TKAM A. Doing what is right for society and not whats right for you B. Not to judge a someone by the color of their skin.
C. Not to follow the crowd and stand up for your beliefs. D. Lead by example. III. Racial Prejudice in TKAM A. What impact did race have in regards to rights of the accused? B. What influenced prejudice in the 1930s? C. What outcome did race have in an individuals social status ? D. Apart from African Americans what other groups of people were discrimated ? IV. To Kill A Mockingbirds influence on society A. What impact did the novel have on society concerning prejudice? B.
What changes did the social awareness of prejudice bring about ? Conclusion Through history literature has been used to inform and educate the public about important issues relevant to their current time , Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird brought about social awareness of the racial prejudice occurring in It’s time period , and had a major influence on the upcoming events that were brought about as a result of its impact on the publics general view. The novel takes place in Maycomb County ,Alabama in the 1930s .
In a total different atmosphere than presently, the south was heavily segregate by the Jim crow laws set in place after the supreme court case Plessy vs. Ferguson to maintain a boundary between skin color in all public places . These which said were meant for the separate yet equal purpose , however regardless of this, discrimination was inevitable. The southern states specially were the scenario of the most concurring racism , due to the fact that in the past it was the main consumer of slave labor and it was hard after the civil war for both races to assimilate into normality .
Most whites held a deep resentment towards the African Americans now free and despite their new status were still looked down upon and treated like less than human beings ,in a totally unfair society that disregarded any rights they equally deserved . But because of the political , social and economic unbalance there was very little the free men could do to claim these injustices. In the 1930s America was undergoing the midst of the Great depression caused primarily by the stock market crash which left millions in the deepest economic crisis the country had yet to experience .
The southern states were particularly hit due to the bankruptcy of the cotton industry , and being its major economic staple it had a (2) tremendous impact on the general public causing a major unemployment for all races , and although whites had the advantage over blacks there was still a competition for jobs among everyone in order to endure the hard times , that which only increased the tension between both ethnic groups even further . They were tough times to be endured and often everyone looked out for only hemselves , and in a segregated community one was less likely to give a hand to a fellow human being they considered unequal . Though African Americans were not the only group to be discriminated upon during this depression , they were the most directly targeted and affected. In the novel a young black man ,Tom Robinson is, accused of the rape of a white girl Mayella Ewell . A crime to which he is actually innocent , and along with her father Bob Ewell an alcoholic , unemployed citizen of Maycomb and member of a very poor family they falsely accuse him of the crime while knowing his true innocence .
Bob represents the dark racist side of the south by portraying his ignorant hate filled racial prejudice , and although Mayella is being influenced by her overbearing abusive father she is still an accomplice in the plot. Nevertheless high standards and values are still embodied by Atticus Finch , a lawyer in Maycomb who believes in morality and justice agrees to defend Tom Robinson , demonstrating his commitment to racial equality despite the way he exposes himself and his family to be ridiculed by the angry white community who disapproves entirely.
As the story develops To Kill A Mockingbird further reveals strong evidence of the racial prejudice occurring in the south . Tom Robinson is put to trial in a courtroom where whites dominate the entire structure , and the discrimination is continued . Even (3) though Atticus puts up a strong defense with well-built facts and a detailed reasoning of the past events to display his innocence, the jury decides on Tom as guilty. According to the questionable testimonies of Bob and Mayella , which lack solid evidence against the mans innocence .
Atticus fights a battle he cannot win because in spite of any rational argument he uses to show Toms innocence ,he is overlooked . What is even more exasperating is the way the angry whites go in attempt of lynching him when he is in the towns jail to be kept unharmed before his trial. Eventually Tom Robinson is killed when supposedly attempting to escape after the trial in which he is convicted guilty . In this way Harper Lee illustrated to the world the corrupt system that was ignored by most and was continuously used to put own a race for generations. The theme of doing what is right for society and not what is right for is displayed By non other than Atticus Finch, who is virtually the only one of his ethnicity standing up For his cause. He is pretty much the voice of integrity speaking throughout novel , this is shown through how he options to be singled out for his believes as long as he is benefiting another human being and society it self .
Unlike Mayella who chooses to frame Tom because she is weak and gives into her fathers will to not be abused. Atticus makes a sacrifice in other words for the well being of another individual. He also teaches everyone not to judge a book by its cover ,or rather the color of a persons skin, by focusing on the good qualities of a person and understanding that everyone although different in many ways are equal as a person inside and are capable of committing rights and wrongs.
Its outstanding the way Atticus stands alone for his beliefs instead of conforming (4) with the rest of the towns people. He is truly the role model in the novel , and serves as this for his children . With such leadership qualities he teaches them by example and they in return learn from his actions , Atticus does not demonstrate the most miniscule hint of hypocrisy at all . “ He makes it a common practice to live his life as he would like his children to live theirs ,by providing them with realistic and visual examples of real life .
He displays attributes of a respectable person such as honor , integrity and courage” No matter how an individual acts Atticus teaches his children to act with sympathy and to try and see life from their perspective. For this Atticus is respected and seen as a man of character . The blacks in the court room show their respect to him by standing to salute him as he exits, at another instance after the trial Bob Ewell spits at his face yet Atticus humbly reacts without violence and walks away .
It is clearly shown during the novel the corruption of the legislative branch in regards to African Americans rights . The way Tom Robinson is not given a fair trial, and how a relevant amount of rational evidence is not collected in order to convict him as guilty, instead the words from a white man and woman are simply enough to make assumptions to a mans innocence. As visible the rights of the accused are not properly followed through at all , and this just happened to be one of the multiple examples of cases around that time with unjust verdicts .
Racial prejudice just simply had too great of an impact on all areas of society , and was the main reason for the existence of social inequality. The divisions in the social interaction between races proves to be destructive and immoral when it tears apart peoples lives and corrupts the very essence of human nature . (5) “Remember it’s a sin to kill a mocking bird. – that was the only time I heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something , And I asked Ms Maudie about it. “ Your fathers right” she said. Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy…but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird. ” Racism fills the human spirit with unnecessary hatred for one of the most absurd reasons , the simple fact of diversity in others. Its influence on peoples lives will never be changed and will continue to live within those who inherit the trait of pure ignorance, the damage it has caused throughout the world and our nation is perhaps the main reason for most conflicts.
To subdue a person for this is completely unreasonable and repulsive . However There are many other ethnic and additional groups that have been suppressed to these type of discrimination, the Mexican and Japanese were two other sets that were singled out as well . Being most immigrants they were also looked down upon for doing the jobs that nobody else wanted , and in spite of the economic value they meant to the nation many laws were set in place to restrict their migration simply because they were unwanted due to their physical ethnic differences.
An example from the novel would be women as well who were treated unfairly for being considered less capable than men . Scout Finch is ridiculed for being a tom boy “ Trough Scout Finch , Harper Lee shows the typical woman looking into a mans world from an outsiders point of view , knowing that she will grow up to not be included in society equally” Boo Radley is also another subject to prejudice due to his mental condition , simply for the sake of being different , towards the end of the book however the children and everyone view him differently after he saves their life’s. when they finally saw him why he hadn’t done any of those things…Atticus, he was real nice…”His hands were under my chin, pulling up the cover, tucking it around me” Most people are ,Scout, when you finally see them” He turned out the light and went into Jem’s room. He would be there all night. , and he would stay there when Jem wake up in the morning. ” (6) To kill A Mockingbird had an impact on prejudice by displaying the injustices that went under in everyday life .
It was a novel that explored the hardships and reality of African American life in the south , along with other controversial issues that negatively affected a society divided by hatred and ignorance. It definitely made people more consciously aware of the negative outcomes of prejudice and that something should be done because those in power were not doing much about it either since they happened to be prejudice as well.
Although the novel takes place in the 1930s the publication was in the 1950s and in the rise of the Civil Rights Movement which helped further emphasize the cause for African Americans to continue fighting for equality and to become more involved in the mass movement. It was an eye opener for a lot to realism and a view of a discriminated persons life. In addition the persistence of African Americans after this worked out for the passing of many laws that helped bring equality further on.
This great work of literature exposed the centuries long reign of discrimination and can now be referred to a window into the past , a past in which things were a lot different and although they might not currently be at the greatest point either , it is a source from which to learn about past because after all history repeats it self. Bibliography Catherine , Bernard . Understanding To kill A Mockingbird . San Diego CA , Gale; 1997.
Rennay ,Graats . History of the 1930s . Mankato, MN, Weigl Publishers ; 2002. Michael , Kronenvetter . Prejudice in America. New York , NY, Franklin Watts;1993. Terry ,O’neill . Reading on to kill a Mockingbird . San Diego, MC,Greenhaven Press ; 2000. Kranz , Rachel . Straight Talk About Prejudice. New York , NY, Facts On Life INC; 1992. Diane , Telgen . Novels For Students Volume 2. Detroit MC, Tomson Gale ; 2003.