False Narratives In To Kill A Mockingbird, By Harper Lee

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The Power of False Narratives Throughout literature, and even in our own lives, we are poisoned by the false narratives and stories that corrupt our minds and control our decisions. This is the driving force in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Our protagonist, Scout Finch, makes decisions and forms opinions based on stories she hears that simply aren’t true. This is prevalent among various other major and minor characters in the novel as well. They are also extremely commonplace in the real world, as displayed in articles like, Lynching; Moral Cowardice, by Mark Twain and, 21st-Century Slaves, by Andrew Cockburn. Whether they’ve separated children from reality, caused undeserved hatred and prejudice, or have been used to avoid the …show more content…
When it comes to some accounts, however, people begin to take it as truth. This leads to bias and hate in the docile minds of the youth, and even adults. The best example of this in the novel is Boo Radley, who is so feared, the children refuse to go up to his house. The (clearly far-fetched) description of him is far from legitimacy, “Jem gave a reasonable description of Boo: Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch... There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped and he drooled most of the time” (Lee 16). When Boo comes to their aid at the end of the book, Scout learns that he was nothing like they described him. He was a good man who was unfortunately the victim to the gossip of the town. The reason he had become so feared by the townsfolk is the simple fact that people like Stephanie Crawford had written his story for him, and were incredibly fallacious. He was hated for something illogical by children he cared about. That is how most false narratives start. Some more harmful dishonesty was spread about Tom Robinson by characters. Generalization is incredibly dangerous and a very common form of delusion. Shockingly enough, it comes out of Scout Finch’s own mouth, “Tom’s death was typical. Typical of a n***** to cut and run. Typical of a n*****’s mentality to have no plan, no thought for the future, just run blind first chance he saw” (Lee 322). Tom Robinson trying to make a break for it was hopeless and the result was just asinine. Because of this, people in the town were able to justify the misconception that all people of color were ‘criminals’ who never thought ahead. Tom was ‘just another negro with no brains at all’. People believed that and it

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