Race And Racism In To Kill A Mockingbird

1431 Words 6 Pages
In today’s society, many people avoid the unintentional divide caused by race. In the fictional town of Maycomb County in To Kill a Mockingbird, race plays a significant role in how one conducts themselves. In Harper Lee’s book To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee explores how race and racism structure power, language, social status, and hidden societal rules of conduct.
Power and social status are influenced in Maycomb by race and racism. At the beginning of the book, the townspeople are portrayed as one group of people. When Scout goes to school, she starts to see the previously invisible line. An incident when this line became more transparent is when Scout’s teacher teaches the students about Democracy and tells them that in a Democracy, people do
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As Scout grows up and learns the true colors of her neighbors, she sees the impact of different attitudes to each other, and its impact on their society. Atticus teaches his children to treat everyone with respect. Atticus does not see color as a dividing factor; therefore, neither does Scout. Scout’s relationship with Calpurnia, also known as Cal, is an example of how she does not treat others differently. Calpurnia is considered a mother figure in Scout and Jem 's lives. Even though Cal is African American, Scout and Jem treat her with respect, as does their father. They do not conform to the norms of their society. They do not refer to African Americans as Negroes or boy, but rather by their name. While in Maycomb, people go around calling African Americans awful names; Atticus teaches the kids that this is wrong, and they should never call African Americans anything other than their names. He also tells the children: “‘You’ll see white men cheat black men everyday of your life, but let me tell you one thing and don’t you forget it- whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash '” (252). The majority of Maycomb’s perspective towards African Americans is negative. Scout’s perspective is unbiased. She does not harbor the hatred that people like the Ewells and Cunninghams, who are also white harbor. How one talks to people and views them is based off race and racism. During the Tom Robinson case, people automatically assumed he had raped the white girl because of his race. This was because of the racism towards Tom’s race. Even though Atticus proved Tom’s innocence to the jury, the jury was still able to say that Tom was guilty because of the preconception they have towards

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