The Oppressions of To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird is a story about a criminal trial that takes place in a little Alabama town, where a black male called Tim Robinson is incorrectly accused of raping a white woman. In the book Harper Lee explores the racial injustices found within the education system, in addition to the social attitudes of the town, and in the legal system.
The education system in Maycomb, Alabama happens throughout the Depression era where segregation in between the whites and blacks were still a way of living. In the very first number of chapters of To Eliminate a Mockingbird, Lee speaks about the racial oppressions within the education system and that the state legally requires all white children to go to school however states nothing of black kids participating in. (40) Nevertheless, the book does briefly point out that the negro kids would oftentimes stay at home to assist their moms and dads with work which is probably where they probably got their education, if any was to be offered.
Another example of racial injustice within the education system was apparent in the Finchs household. Calpurnia, Finchs Negro maid, was among the few Negroes in town who might check out and compose. Moreover, she also taught Scout how to compose. However, Calpurnia felt that she needed to keep her education a secret since she didnt want to cause any contention with friend or family within her community. Nor did she want anybody to believe she was acting better than they. In addition to this, when Calpurnia takes Jem and Scout to church with her they recognize that there aren’t any hymn books for them to sing out of due to the fact that there are just four black individuals who can read throughout the churchgoers. (165 )
The academic injustice that Lee integrated into her novel was also an accurate portrayal of life in Alabama in the early 1900s. According to the Encyclopedia of Alabama, education in the early 1900s was a hard time for different counties within Alabama because of bigotry and lack of financing. For example, the length of time in an academic year for white students was 72 days and for the Negro trainees it was 34 days. There were huge distinctions between the values of school residential or commercial property; such as, whites school property was valued at $40,000 whereas the Negros school property was valued at $1,000. Another Injustice was the pay scale between the two races. The average yearly wage for white male teachers was $863 and for white female teachers $422. The African American male teachers were paid $480 and the black Negro women earned $140. (Encyclopedia of Alabama)
During the mid 1930s the social attitude of the townspeople in Maycomb was based on various social codes that they lived by. Blacks were ruled over members of society and were not enabled to co-mingle with whites in public and there were different living areas for the white and black individuals in Maycomb. There was also separate seating in the courthouse in between the whites and Negros during the Robinson Trial. Another example of the social mindsets in To Eliminate a Mockingbird is when the Finchs visit his prolonged household for Christmas. Scout gets in a fight with her cousin Francis and punches him in the mouth due to the fact that he called Atticus a nigger fan. (112) There is also the time when there neighbor Mrs. Dubose yells out to Jem in passing saying, Your dads no better than the niggers and garbage he works for( 135 ). Intermarriage in between 2 races was looked down up as well.For circumstances, Dolphus Raymond who was known for being an intoxicated, and who likewise resided on the outskirts of town, was exiled and castaway from Maycomb since he fathered a number of biracial children.
Another significant concern explored in the story was the injustice with the legal system. Tom Robinson was a good and sincere black male who worked hard to provide for his family. He is a man mistakenly implicated of raping and beating a white woman named Mayell. In reality Tom did nothing incorrect except to assist fix a couple of things around Mayellas home. He sympathized with her so when she asked him to come into your home to fix a window he did which when she made advances towards Tom, which he refused. Nevertheless when Mr. Ewell, Mayellas daddy came home from among his intoxicated experiences and saw a black male in his home and likewise sees his child tossing herself at him, he becomes furious and beats her. Quickly, after Tom flees house, Mr. Ewell heads to town to see the sheriff and fabricates a story about Tom Robinson committing a criminal activity and implicates him of beating and raping his child. Sherriff Tate then goes out to the Robinsons, arrests Tom with no evidence or correct legal representation, and tosses him in jail.
Another example of legal oppression is the towns jury selection. Everyone on the jury is white and prejudiced against blacks. No matter just how much evidence Atticus, Toms lawyer has in proving his customers innocence there is long shot that Tom will be freed. As Atticus clearly specifies, In our courts, when its a white mans word versus a black males, the white man always wins( 295 ). Here Lee exposes societies mindsets towards Maycombs legal system relating to the blacks. According to The Times, the trial in TO Kill a Mockingbird, mirrors a reality trial that happened in 1931 known as the Scottsboro Trial. This was a case in which a couple of black males were charged of raping a white woman.However, like Tom Robinson they were most definitely innocent of any criminal activity however were sentenced to death row.As an outcome, none were executed and were pardoned in 1976.
To conclude, Lee shows various examples and explores racial oppression within the education system by showing the distinctions of white kids going to school verses the Negro kids staying home and helping their moms and dads work. To Eliminate a Mockingbird also reveals racial oppression in the social mindsets of the townspeople through partition towards the blacks. Additionally, Lee likewise shows the racial oppression in the legal system by killing Tom Robinson who was a black guy for a crime he never ever committed.