Thursday, March 4, 2010

To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

To Kill a Mockingbird Essay


I agree with the essay topic and I believe that after reading Harper Lee’s classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, the reader is left with a sense of hope despite the persecution of the coloured folk who live in the outskirts of Maycomb County.

Tom Robinson, the Negro who is being accused of raping Mayella Ewell, stays true to himself and never fails to be honest with the jury. Through this we are exposed to the courage and valiance of the indomitable human spirit. Readers are left with a sense of hope because even though there is a presence of persecution, some people of the society begin to see the racism and believe that there is an injustice being done to the coloured folk. Atticus was one person who could see this injustice and he taught his children, Jem and Scout, to also see this unlawfulness.

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All humans possess an absolute spirit which strives to exist no matter how desperate or hopeless the situation is. We are created with an “indomitable human spirit” that cannot be conquered or destroyed. Tom Robinson is a good example of how a person who is faced with an unjust and prejudice situation can remain honest to the jury and have the courage to claim his innocence. He believed that this would be enough to set him free.

Atticus’ courage to accept Tom Robinson’s case is also an example of an indomitable human spirit. Even though Atticus knew he would lose the case before he began, he still had the courage and self-respect to begin anyway. “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know your licked before you begin but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

Persecution is to constantly treat someone unjustly or harshly because of their principles, religious faith or race. Tom Robinson was persecuted throughout his life because of his race. Countless black Negroes were persecuted around the world because of the colour of their skin. This predominantly occurred in America during the 1800’s and 1900’s. Many African Americans fought for equal rights. Civil rights marches were led by Martin Luther King and Malcolm X in the 1960’s. The novel shows us how one single incident of persecution can effect a whole community.

In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Tom Robinson was charged with raping Mayella Ewell, found guilty by a racist jury, and was killed whilst trying to escape prison, even though Atticus proved to the jury that it was obvious that he was innocent. He was found guilty, however, because he was a Negro and seen to be less than human. Even though all of the jury were racist, some members of Maycomb County began to see that the unfair way in which they treated the Negroes was wrong.

Heck Tate, the town sheriff, lied under oath in court in favour of Robert Ewell and as a result Mr Ewell was set free of charge and Tom Robinson was sentenced to death. When Mr Ewell attacked Jem and Scout with a knife and attempted to kill them, Boo Radley saves their lives by driving the knife under Mr Ewell’s ribcage killing him.

Heck Tate realises this is what occurred yet he tells the community that Mr Ewell fell on his knife while he was attacking Jem and Scout. He says this because he starts to realise that Mr Ewell shouldn’t have gone free in the first place. Jem and Scout also begin to realise that an injustice is begin done to the Negroes.

Atticus believed that all people had equal rights regardless of their race or the colour of their skin. He proved this to the community by defending Tom Robinson in court. He also tried to show them that they could not convict Tom Robinson just because he was a Negro. He could only be convicted if he was proved to be guilty of the crime, which he wasn’t. Atticus passes these beliefs on to his children and teaches them that all humans, regardless of race, are equal. Jem starts to realise that it is wrong for Tom Robinson to be persecuted and killed. “It ain’t right Atticus, said Jem. No son, it’s not right.”

To Kill a Mockingbird gives the reader hope for a just and equal society for all people regardless of who they are. It does this by showing us that even though the majority of a community is racist towards Negroes, and sentence Tom Robinson to death for a crime he didn’t commit, some people began to realise that it was unjust. It also shows us that through the main characters this message will spread amongst the people of Maycomb County. I believe one of Harper Lee’s main messages in To Kill a Mockingbird is not just relating to Maycomb, a small town in Alabama, but to the whole world. She is telling us that not matter where we live in the world, it is not right to persecute people because of their background, who they are or the colour of their skin. All people should be treated equally.

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