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To Kill a Mocking Bird Essay

  • Submitted by: kentuckyfan
  • on January 5, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,210 words

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Below is an essay on "To Kill a Mocking Bird" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

“To Kill a Mocking Bird” - A National Novel
Reading “To Kill a Mocking Bird” by Harper Lee is something that millions of Americans have in common. The book is about a young girl named Scout and her brother Jem, and their experiences in their small hometown, Maycomb, Alabama.   The novel takes the reader through Scout and Jem’s adventurous childhood and shares the lessons they learn along the way. Many philosophers consider this novel a Bildungsroman, a piece of literature that represents psychological and moral growth from youth to adulthood.   Admirers of this classic, including Oprah Winfrey, believe that, “(To Kill a Mocking Bird) should be our national novel.”   It should be the American national novel because it teaches valuable life lessons about subjects such as racial prejudice, socio-economic differences, and courage.
Lee uses a variety of African American characters in her novel to portray the racial prejudice that dominated the social norms of the 1930s.   Racial prejudice was a way of life in the deep south of the United States in the 1930’s and it dictated what people thought, how they acted, and what they believed in.   Despite efforts to initiate change, most peoples’ repugnant attitudes towards African Americans in the South remained the same. After being badgered by numerous residents, Scout asks her father, Atticus, “Do you defend niggers?” prompting Atticus to explain, “Of course I do. Don’t say nigger, Scout” (Lee, 75).   Although it seems so simple, Atticus redressing Scout about using this contemptuous term is a big step in helping her understand that African Americans are human beings. Some of the best examples of racial prejudice are revealed in the trial of Tom Robinson.   During his trial, Tom Robinson is misjudged mainly because he is black.   Mr. Gilmer, Tom's prosecutor, calls Tom "boy" to make him seem as though he is of lesser equality than others in the court room.   Another example of racial prejudice in Tom Robinson’s trial is the...

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