Harper Lee wrote ‘To kill a mockingbird’ during the 1930s. ‘To kill a mockingbird’ focuses on life in Alabama, but most importantly, it discusses prejudice against African- Americans. Later, in the 1960s, the book was actually made into a film. The film was able to show many people the wrongs of racism and actually had quite a significant impact on people during the civil rights movement in America.
It is my opinion that each race of people should have the right to recognize a race in their own way. However, by doing so, some races might overdo it and place themselves above other races thus promoting racism. It is because of this, that I think that people should be taught to respect every individual race in it’s own way.
Atticus, from the book, fought for Tom Robinson even though he knew that most of the odds were against him. He did so because he felt that his own race, the whites, was mistreating the African- Americans. He wanted an opportunity to tell the people how unfair and unjust they were to the blacks, as one should always know, a journey of a thousand steps begins with one. Atticus, although a fictitious character, could very well symbolize people like Martin Luther King Jr. This man knew it was because of racial prejudice that they were suffering so much. Like Atticus, he stood up, when no one else would, and fought for what was right. He tried to show their oppressors what they experienced everyday of their lives.
Tom Robinson, an obvious victim of racism, was charged for a rape, which he didn’t do. As shown in the book, Atticus even presented proof to the jury that Tom Robinson was innocent. However, Tom Robinson was still declared guilty. This shows us the irrationality of prejudice.
There is not much difference when we compare the book to reality. Much like Tom Robinson, Rubin Hurricane Carter, was also charged for a crime that he didn’t commit. Rubin Carter, a first- class middleweight boxer was said to have been the murderer of certain white people who were in a bar. Rubin’s lawyer even presented proof that he was in a bar on the other side of the town when the murder happened. The ‘Hurricane’ was brought down crashing when he was declared guilty and was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment just two games before he could have been crowned middleweight champion of the world. The accusing of both Carter and Robinson is much like the shooting of a mockingbird. They both hadn’t done anything to deserve such horrible ends.
From the book, we know that any things have changed when compared to present time. The role of females have certainly changed, as proven by Scout who was whipped by Uncle Jack simply because she said ‘damn’ a mild term when compared to present curses. However, in respects of racism, we can see that the world we live in today is not much different to the world that Scout and Jem had lived in. There are still many cases in the world where races openly discriminate against another race because of color, culture or poverty. Schools in many parts of the world are still segregated. There are still people who throw around terms such as ‘nigger- lover’, which are not much of insults, when thought about.
There were however, many improvements. Decades ago, a white man would not have been able to look at a black man straight in the face. Now however, people of all races even come together in meetings to discuss racism issues. As a result, many programs have been launched in an effort to undo racism. However, there are still people who refuse to listen.
These are the people who are too stubborn to change their ways, or others who simply did not like the idea of living with another race. Such are the people of the Ku Klux Klan. The Ku Klux Klan is a group of American White supremacist. In other words, they think that they should have supreme rights to every other race since they think are the ‘real’ Americans. Because of this, they often end up using violence as a way of preventing Black Americans from exercising their rights. The Ku Klux Klan are not only against Black Americans, whom they claim are of slave origin, but are also against all immigrants who they say suck up their country’s resources. The ideas of the Ku Klux Klan are not wrong in anyway, since people should have the right to think anything they want, but the use of violence is much prohibited. This is a bad sign and that is why groups of terrorists such as these should be eradicated.
In the book, Atticus says, “It is a sin to kill a mockingbird.” A mockingbird is a harmless little bird, which helps brighten the world with its song. To kill or even harm one would be a sin. From reading the story, we know that the mockingbird is Tom Robinson. This is because he has done nothing, but yet he is treated upon so different from everyone. Tom Robinson hoped only to help Mayella but ended up in court. He was charged and sent to prison, isolated from everyone, and died in a desperate attempt to escape his cage.
By reading the book, we think that it is talking about prejudice. In actual fact, Harper Lee has only said that killing a person who has done nothing is a sin. But by putting a black man i.e. Tom Robinson there; she was able to convey to us that prejudice is what brings us to do such things. In other words, prejudice is the sin.