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To Kill a Mockingbird Developed Paragraph Essay

In “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Atticus Finch included many themes in his closing speech to the jury. Some of the themes were loneliness, racism, human nature, and equality. The theme loneliness was demonstrated in the speech when Atticus attacked Mayella’s loneliness and blamed her for her child – like decision to accuse Tom Robinson for her unhappiness. “She did something every child has done – she tried to put the evidence of her offence away from her. But in this case she was no child hiding stolen contraband: she struck out at her victim …” Another theme of Atticus’s speech was racism, which was shown when the jury did not believe the word of Tom Robinson, a black man, over the word of “white trash” like the Ewells. Atticus attempted his point that Tom had been exploited and unjustly accused. “And so a quiet, respectable, humble Negro who had the unmitigated temerity to ‘feel sorry’ for a white woman has had to put his word against two white people’s.”

Racism was also demonstrated throughout the story by how Tom Robinson was convicted purely because he was a black man and his accuser was white. The evidence was so powerfully in his favor, that race was clearly the single defining factor in the jury’s decision. Human nature was one of the themes shown in Atticus’s speech. It was shown when Atticus reminded the jury that not all Negroes lie, not all are immoral, and not all can be trusted around women – black or white, and that blackness does not necessarily associate to evil. “… some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women – black or white …” Atticus then further appealed to the jury the honest of nature. “… this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire.”

Lastly, the theme equality was demonstrated when Atticus said that the court was the one institution that must always treat all men equally, and he then discharged the jury to defend the grave responsibility of the American court system. “… there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal – there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court. It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest J.P. court in the land, or this honorable court which you serve. Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal … I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and to restore this defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty.”


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