To kill a mocking bird - themes

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To kill a mocking bird - themes

  1. 1. To Kill A Mocking Bird (Robert Mulligan, 1962#)Racism/ Racial Intolerance/ Racial Inequality (Bigotry), Justice and the Law, Perspective (Being in someone else’s shoes),Moral Courage/ Bravery, Ethics (knowing right from wrong)Racism/ Racial Intolerance/ Racial Inequality (Bigotry)Obviously, racism is a major theme of the novel. During the Depression era, blacks were still highlysubjugated members of society. Blacks were not permitted to commingle with whites in publicsettings, as exemplified in the courthouse physical separation of races and in the clearly distinctblack and white areas of town. Moreover, things like intermarriage were almost unheard of, andsorely looked down upon.Atticus and his closing speech (break down)The segregation present in the courthouse Scout and Dill also sit with the black citizens ofthe town in the balcony of the court house to observe the trialCalpurnia – cookBob Ewell refers to Tom as a nigger/ Atticus uses the word Negro or BlackThe mockingbird comes to represent true goodness and purity. Tom Robinson is oneexample of a human "mockingbird". He stands accused of raping and beating Mayella Ewell,but is innocent of the charges. The town commits the ultimate sin by finding him guilty andsentencing him to death. In effect, they have killed a mockingbird.The jury find Tome guilty simply because he is a black man and his accuser is white.Theevidence is so powerfully in his favor, that race is clearly the single defining factor in thejurys decision.Scout asks Atticus if he defends niggersThe children in school tease ScoutJustice and the LawBoo is never handed in for the murder of Bob EwellAlthough Atticus loses the trial, he believes strongly that despite social inequalities, all menare equal in the courtroomPerspective (Being in someone else’s shoes)Scout tries to relate to the Cunningham’s position (relaying what happened in school toAtticus, Atticus tells her ““You never really understand and person until you consider thingsfrom his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”Scout says that standing on the Radleys porch was enough – meaning she could see thetown from Boo’s perspectiveScout asks Mr Cunningham about his entailmentMoral Courage/ BraveryAtticus takes on Tom’s case even though he knows the town will be against him (Herculeantask - requires tremendous effort, strength) Atticus is brave to defend a black man in theface of criticism and threats of violencewhen facing the mob of men outside the jailhouse.Atticus doesn’t react to Bob Ewellto Atticus, withholding violence is one of the highest formsof bravery.Bob Ewell represents the greatest cowardice, as he both lies in the courtroom to protecthimself and resorts to attacking children in the darkness in order to make himself feel moreof a man.
  2. 2. To Kill A Mocking Bird (Robert Mulligan, 1962#)Racism/ Racial Intolerance/ Racial Inequality (Bigotry), Justice and the Law, Perspective (Being in someone else’s shoes),Moral Courage/ Bravery, Ethics (knowing right from wrong)Maudie’s comment on Atticus “There’s some me in this world who are born to do ourunpleasant jobs for us, your father’s one of them”Atticus struggles on with case because he believes that one day good will prevail over theevils of racism and racial equality will exist (speech)Ethics (knowing right from wrong)

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