What Is Discrimination In To Kill A Mockingbird

2209 Words 9 Pages
Discrimination in To Kill A Mockingbird To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee touches on many topics which are still very relevant to this day: racism, empathy, persecution of innocents, gender roles in society, and discrimination. Discrimination is a big problem in this book; it goes so far that Scout, the narrator, faces it when she’s only around seven or eight years old. The adults face it as well. Tom Robinson, a kind black worker, is discriminated against just because he’s black. Mr. Dolphus Raymond, the town “drunk”, is discriminated against because he lives with a black woman, and he’s happy with her. Atticus, Scout’s father, is discriminated against because of the fact that he chooses and really tries to defend a black man in court -- …show more content…
Mayella accuses Tom of raping her, but Tom says that he never did such a thing. The readers do not know exactly what happened, but the evidence given tries to persuade the reader to take Tom’s side in the issue. At the end of the case, the jury comes to a conclusion that Tom is guilty and he is taken away to a prison about seventy miles away from Maycomb. He is given a chance to appeal, and if he loses that appeal, he is sentenced to death since rape is a capital offense in Alabama. Atticus believes that there is a small chance for Tom to win the appeal, but the ruling will either be that Tom is free or Tom is sentenced to death -- there’s not going to be a ruling of twenty years in prison. Since Tom is black, there will be no “gray area” in the appeal, it will be all or nothing. If it was a white man in Tom’s place, there would be a chance of a sentence in prison -- but that isn’t the case here. The problems facing Tom, who is believed to be innocent, come from the fact that he is black. His story is more believable in the case, but the jury does not want to believe a black man’s word over a white man’s word. Eventually, Tom gets fed up with the discrimination and does something about it. At the prison he is taken to, he tries to escape but is unfortunately shot and killed in the process. Atticus thinks he knows why Tom would do that when he …show more content…
She is raised by a man who is strongly against racism and she also grew up with a black woman in her house. Scout never really understood why people hated blacks. When Tom was said to be guilty, she knew it was wrong, but since she was still so young, she didn’t fully understand it. She knew that there were some people who want the best for anyone and everyone, like Atticus and Miss Maudie. Since Scout was raised by a person who does not discriminate against others, she learns by example -- she learns not to discriminate. Atticus teaches her a very important thing to always remember because it can be very helpful if she starts to judge someone in a negative way. “‘First of all,’ he said, ‘if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view--’ ‘Sir?’ ‘--until you climb into his skin and walk around in it’” (Lee 30). Atticus is telling Scout to never judge or assume things about a person until you understand where they’re coming from -- why they’re like that. That is a good lesson that Scout learns from Atticus, and that applies to all forms of discrimination because she can use that “trick” with anyone who may be discriminated against. Through character development and lessons from her father, Scout learns many things about discrimination -- mostly, how to avoid doing it to someone

Related Documents

Related Topics