Analysis of To Eliminate a Mockingbird
Bigotry has been around an extremely, long time; it’s woven into the material of our history and part of how we all view and analyze the world around us. Although it didn’t always have a name, the predisposition of one group toward another will constantly be present; it is a part of our human condition. In To Eliminate a Mockingbird racism is as noticeable to us fifty-five years later on as an unsightly zit on a young face, unblemished by the wrinkles of time; no quantity of makeup or pleasantries might conceal that fiery, red pustule that shows up to everybody except to the face that bares it.
The late 50’s and 60’s in the United States the civil liberties motion was beginning to capture traction. Harper Lee’s publication of To Eliminate a Mockingbird couldn’t have actually come at a much better time– released in 1960; at the zenith of the civil liberties motion, Harper Lee’s book, written with very first person narrative, is met immediate appeal and vital honor. Woven into the themes of this tapestry are a young girl’s coming-of-age, regional “fixed” justice, the function of the honorable savage, perspectives on what is seen and hidden, and the basic life in a rather closed, predominantly white neighborhood in the South. Nevertheless, the most striking theme in this tapestry is bigotry; it resembles a scarlet, nearly uncomfortable to look at, thread that shadows over and, at times, highlights every aspect of this ageless story.
The word negro appears in the pages of this book over fifty-four times, and although it is not always the word used to describe African-Americans in this book, it is, with just a couple of exceptions, utilized in the context of nefarious deeds, ill prominence, outcasts or the drudges of society. Harper Lee applies it to the pages sometimes with a smooth stroke and other times with a thick awful brush; one can nearly taste the bitter, revolting flavor of its usage as it rolls off the pages. In truth it’s even used by Atticus in his defense of Tom Robinson. “You know the reality, and the reality is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women– black or white.” (Lee 208).
In the first couple of pages of the book racism is visible by positioning black people even below those that have devoted criminal activities, when explaining the events of Boo Radley’s brief incarceration. “The constable hadn’t the heart to put him in jail alongside Negroes, so Boo was secured the courthouse basement.” (Lee 11). Later on in the book after the quick attack of three kids onto the Radley’s yard, bigotry is used once again. “Mr. Radley shot at a Negro in his collard spot.” (55 ). It’s apparent in this passage that black individuals are comparable to rodents or perhaps thieves.
Racism is used in derogatory terms throughout the book. In a little bit of coming-of-age moment for Scout, Atticus explains a few of the context to his child. “nigger-lover is simply one of those terms that don’t mean anything– like snot-nose. It’s hard to explain– oblivious, trashy individuals utilize it when they think someone’s preferring Negroes over and above themselves.” (Lee 112).
Lee does an outstanding task of describing racism from both perspectives of white and black in her description of blended race children. “They don’t belong anywhere. Colored folks will not have ’em since they’re half white; white folks won’t have ’em trigger they’re colored, so they’re just in-betweens, do not belong anywhere.” (Lee 163).
Racism appears in the court in the manner that the attorneys address and cross-examine the witnesses. “Well, Dill, after all he’s simply a Negro.” (Lee 203) The method Dill discusses it and the reply, it’s obvious that no individual of color would ever get real justice in this system. The tersest summary of the book can be described in one quote from the conversation between Auntie Alexandra and Miss Maudie.” reasonable play is not significant White Just” (Lee 240).
Harper Lee has done an excellent task in highlighting bigotry in her book. Some are really obvious like the examples above, however numerous are just evident to us, due to the fact that we look back through the lens of time. Using character’s reactions, the extremely frank descriptions, the separation of whites and black in church and in court, and even the method Mrs. Lee capitalizes some words over others, it’s apparent that racism is the major theme of this book.