Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee Essay

1318 Words May 7th, 2015 6 Pages
In Harper Lee’s Southern Gothic fiction novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee demonstrates how society discriminates and harms certain, innocent people just as in the past, individuals confined and mistreated mockingbirds. Lee’s black, fictional character, Tom Robinson, a handicapped yet hardworking Christian man, represents one of many mockingbirds in her novel. While Lee composes her book, the similar, true story of Emmett Till, a fourteen year old, fun-loving, black boy who travels to Mississippi, unravels in the nation around Lee. Lee draws inspiration from Emmett Till’s circumstances to develop her character, Tom Robinson, through similar accusations, handicaps, and punishments in order to educate her readers about the blinding effects of prejudice. Lee first makes a comparison between the situations that the two males find themselves placed in. Till and Robinson share similar accusations in that they involve a white woman accusing a black man of an inappropriate behavior; however, the accusations differ in the severity of that improper behavior. On the witness stand while giving her testimony, Mayella Ewell claims that Tom Robinson “‘grab[s her] around the neck, chok[es her], and [takes] advantage of [her]’” (Lee 248). As soon as Mayella accuses Tom of a crime, in the 1930’s, it becomes a white woman’s word against a black man’s. The Jim Crow Laws, which were unwritten laws and expectations for blacks, play a part in this situation. The most important expectation of…

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