Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” Analysis Free Essay Example

April 13, 2022 by Essay Writer

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird plays with the fear of deviation from the social norms; those who break the pattern are accustomed to prejudice. Similarly, Craig Silvey’s

movie, Jasper Jones, explores the roots of prejudice through ignorance of discriminated communities. Sarah Tynan

ry about the simple hell people give other people without even thinking. Cry about the hell white people give colored folks, without even stopping to think that they’re people, too.

The novel set in small Maycomb, Alabama throughout the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Published in the early 1960s, the novel was released during the height of the American Civil Rights Movement as African Americans were considered inferior to the white population.

Alternatively, Jasper Jones is set in the late 1960s in the rural town of Corrigan, Western Australia. Unlike the novel, the movie deals with racial discrimination During this time, the United States was involved in the Cold War between the Soviet Union of Vietnam; the Asian immigrant population often suffered from violence/discrimination.

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Additionally, the Indigenous community were considered a part of the flora and fauna and were not considered citizens until 1967.

Lee’s novel follows the life of Scout Finch and her father – Atticus – who is appointed to defend black man Tom Robinson of a rape conviction. Despite the obvious evidence that proved Tom’s innocence, the racist nature of white supremacy results in the exposure of the evils of stereotyping and prejudice.

Silvey’s narrator/protagonist is Charli Bucktin. Fearing his own persecution due to his scapegoat status, Jasper Jones (half white, half Aboriginal) enlists Charli to find help find Laura Wishart’s killer after stumbling upon her body.

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However, her death seems to dig up the towns buried preconceptions.

Both authors chose young children to narrate their stories, rather than an adult. But don’t let this fool you! Through the eyes of these innocent narrators, we are positioned to see how inculcated prejudice ridden the cultural assumptions of their towns. Subsequently, leading to discrimination of innocent people. Children are able to identify hypocrisy due to their innocence, and lack of worldly experiences. The authors cleverly use their naivety to force the reader to observe the prejudice of Maycomb and Corrigan: nonsensical and difficult to understand. You’re not born prejudice; you’re taught it.

Prejudice is the result of fear and ignorance: fear of change in social norms, change in power or position in the hierarchy, and ignorance of people within communities. Consequently, society feels prejudiced towards people who deviate from long established physical or social patterns. Societal, racial and gender-based prejudices are formed due to cultural assumptions and fear of change. Consequently, dissimilar groups are associated with corruption, dishonesty and danger.

He dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were blood-stained

Lee portrays prejudice through the discrimination of her characters. Scout spent most of her days spying on her neighbour Boo Radley: a recluse who becomes synonymous for the town’s superstitions and nightmares. His unwillingness to come out of his house results in rumours as a malevolent phantom who dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch with teeth that were yellow and rotten (pp. 13). Boo is a victim of Maycomb’s societal prejudice; people fear those who are different.

Maycomb was ridden with racial prejudice; the black community was considered inferior to pure white individuals: around here once you have a drop of Negro blood, that makes you all black (pp.176)

If you were a n*gger like me, you’d be scared too

Tom Robinson is an African American man accused of raping Mayella Ewell. Nonetheless, she kissed him. Scared for his incrimination, he ran away explaining that ‘if you were a n*gger like me, you’d be scared too’ (pp. 212). However, due to Maycomb’s black antagonism, the court assumed his guiltiness, because after all, ‘he’s just a Negro’ (pp.216).

However, he testified that he was unable to beat the woman due to his disability, but rather she kissed him. As a black man, he was unable to forcibly move as risk of being

Despite the obvious evidence that proved Tom’s innocence, the racist of white supremacy results in his conviction.


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