To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird
“It takes one step at a time. Small changes eventually add up to huge results.” Life lessons are important in the way life is understood. Without life lessons to teach the importance of life there would be much suffering and unhappiness. To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic novel written by Harper Lee. It was written in the early 1960’s about a young girl named Scout and her family about the racism that was provoked in the town. Harper Lee, in her novel To Kill a Mockingbird, illustrates three main lessons with the Tom Robinson trial: Stand up for what you believe in, racism is painful and avoid mob mentalities.
One of the most important lessons in To Kill a Mockingbird is to stand up for your beliefs. The character Atticus is a promonate example Harper Lee used to express the importance of standing up for your beliefs. “Atticus had used every tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men’s hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her moth and screamed.” (Lee 323). Atticus throughout the novel displays the courageous and daring act of standing up for his beliefs. Atticus presented a strong defence for the coloured man, even though he knew that there was nothing he could really do. Atticus was appointed to defend Tom Robinson in his case.
Atticus took the case seriously and took it upon himself to take all evidence into close examination. “This case, Tom Robinson’s case, is something that goes to the essence of a man’s conscience-Scout, I couldn’t go to church and worship god if I didn’t try to help that man.” ( ). Atticus strongly defends Tom Robinson for his own personal beliefs and took this case ‘white vs. Black’ seriously and he has taken all odds against society to justify this man. Standing up for what you believe in is a strong way to under mind authorities and prove a strongly arguable point. Atticus did not end up winning the case, but he still stood up for what he believed was right and held on to those beliefs until the end.
Roberts 2 Racism causes pain to so many coloured people in the 1930’s, still to this day racism affects the lives of many. The Tom Robinson case is a prime example of how racism can negatively affect the lives of many. Maycomb the town in To Kill a Mockingbird is very racial. The town folk locked Tom Robinson up for a crime he simply did not do. The men in Maycomb did not care if this man did it or not, they just wanted him to be imprisoned because of the colour of his skin. “To Maycomb, Tom’s death was typical. Typical of a niger to cut and run. Typical if a niggers mentality to have no plan, no thought for the future, just run blind first chance he saw. Atticus Finch might’ve got him off scot free, but wait-Hell no.
You know how they are. Easy come, easy go. Just shows you, that Robinson boy was legally married, they say he kept himself clean, went to church and all that, but when it comes down to the line the veneers mighty thin. Nigger always comes out in ‘em.’’ ( ). Tom died because he was convicted of a crime committed by a white man. Tom was sent to jail, and first chance at free dome so he ran, ending himself with 17 bullet shots in him. Anger when associated with racism can drive a man insane.
Bob Ewell let both of them get to him. “Mr. Finch-wasn’t crazy, mean as hell. Low-down skunk with enough liquor in him to make him brave enough to kill children. He’d never have met you face to face.” ( ). All just because Atticus was appointed to defend Tom Robinson in his case, Bob Ewell got angry. Bob Ewell was furious with modem to kill because in the trail, Atticus’ defence for Tom Robison was rather embarrassing for Bob Ewell. Atticus made an embarrassment of Bob Ewell by presenting the jury and the courtroom to the evidence that clearly indicates that Bob Ewell was the one who abused Mayella.
Bob Ewell being mad he had enough modem to go after Atticus’ children just because he did his job and defended a black man. Racism is still painful to many today. Harper Lee expresses the real pain behind racism in To Kill a Mockingbird.
The white men of Maycomb posses mob mentalities which Harper Lee presents as despicable. All of Maycomb County think that black people are so different, but in reality no one is here to tell everyone who can be better or not. “A quiet, respectable, humble Negro who had the unmitigated temerity to ‘feel sorry’ for a white woman has to put his word against two white people’s. Need not remind you of their appearance and conduct on the stand-you saw them for yourselves.
The witnesses for the state, with the exception of the Sheriff of Maycomb County, have presented themselves to you gentlemen, to this court, in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted, confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption-the evil assumption-that all Negros lie, that all Negros are basically immortal beings, that all negro man are not to be trusted around women, an assumption one associates with minds of their caliber.” (273). Maycomb judges coloured people on the colour of their skin and not what really matters. Tom Robinson was brutally exposed to racism and never got the chance to live it down. Atticus is very well to avoid mob mentalities. Atticus makes a point of making what he wants to be heard, heard. Atticus is very courageous in
Roberts 4 the way that he will stand up for and defend his beliefs and not follow in the same corrupt path that others are on. “I shall be brief, but I would like to use my remaining time with you to remind you that this case is not a difficult one, it requires no minute sifting of complicated facts, but it does require you to be sure beyond all reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the defendant, To begin with, this case should never have come to trial. This case is as simple as black and white.” (271)
Atticus actually took the time to consider all the evidence in the Tom Robinson case. Atticus presented his evidence before the jury and he strongly believed that it was not Tom Robinson. Atticus did not follow in the ways of others with no just assuming that because he is black he did it. Atticus took into all the consideration the evidence he had pulled together to treat Tom as an equal and give him a fair defence against a white man. Mob mentalities are everywhere. People believe in anything they hear and go along with it, but it takes one person to stand up and represent those who cannot.
Standing up for what you believe in, racism is painful and avoiding mob mentalities are really important life lessons that Harper Lee expresses throughout the novel, epically in the Tom Robinson trial. Harper Lee incorporated life lessons into her novel to teach the reader the importance in knowing right from wrong and to teach you things you may not learn in schooling. History is full of examples of people that kept making the same mistakes because they fail to learn the first time. Life lessons are everywhere, you learn something new every day that builds your character and defines who you are as a person.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 5 November 2016
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