How Is Injustice Shown In To Kill A Mockingbird

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As children, everybody endures cruel or unfair situations. Typically people are unaware of the causes for these situations, and if they are not honestly revealed by an adult, the child could grow up close minded to others ideas. In Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, she tells the story of a girl named Scout growing up during in the Great Depression, in rural Alabama. She witnesses racism and violence, as her father defends an African American named Tom Robinson, who is accused of rape. In her book, Harper Lee demonstrates through the characterization of Jem and Scout that when innocent children are exposed to injustice, they need to be treated with honesty by an adult, in order to become more accepting people.

In the beginning of
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In the case, Mayella Ewell has accused Tom Robinson of rape. One day, Scout goes to church with Calpurnia, and she hears the word rape in a discussion about the trial. Scout asks Calpurnia what rape is, and she tells her to ask Atticus. When she does, he nonchalantly, “sighed, and said rape was a carnal knowledge of a female by force and without consent.”(180). Atticus doesn’t avoid the question or treat Scout as immature. Instead, he presents a straightforward explanation of rape, a topic most parents avoid. This demonstrates his openness and honesty towards his children. On the day of the trial, Scout, Jem, and Dill sneak over to the courthouse to watch Atticus defend Tom. At the end of Atticus’ closing statement, Calpurnia finds them and Atticus instructs them to leave. However, the children want to hear the verdict, so Atticus relents, “Well, you’ve heard it all, so you might as well hear the rest. Tell you what, you all can come back when you’ve eaten your supper.’”(277). By allowing the children to hear the verdict, Atticus is being completely open with trial, and not trying to shelter the children. Additionally, he simply states that, “they heard it all”, and does not scold them for it. Instead, he merely accepts they were shown the truth, and allows them to “come back” if they want. The night after the trial, Aunt Alexandra sees how distraught Jem is over the verdict of guilty. Worried that the children were too young to be exposed to topics like rape and racism, she questions whether it was right for the children to have watched the trial. Atticus responds, “‘This is their home sister...We’ve made it this way for them, they might as well learn to cope with it.’”(285). By using the word “home”, Atticus is referring to the town of Maycomb, and all of the racism it contains. By using the word “cope”, Atticus is

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