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Examples Of Racism In How To Kill A Mockingbird

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Racism is a reoccurring theme in southern novels. Whether the main protagonist is black or white, racism is represented in Ellen Foster, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and How to Kill a Mocking Bird. All three girls, Scout, Marguerite, and Ellen, are surrounded by racism. However, the girls do not seem to understand exactly why society is so offended by black people. This is a hard concept for little girls to understand. To begin with, Kaye Gibbons’ Ellen Foster is about an eleven-year-old who lives with her alcoholic dad and sick mother. One day, Ellen discovers that her mother has overdosed on her medication, and her father does little to nothing to help. Due to her mother passing away, Ellen’s father abuses her physically and mentally. …show more content…
This novel is about a white girl, Scout, who goes on many adventures with her brother, Jem, and her friend, Dill. Throughout the novel, racism is a clear theme. To begin with, Atticus, Scouts father, is a lawyer for a black man named Tom Robinson. Tom was accused of raping a white woman. From the beginning, Atticus is very understanding of others no matter their skin color. He states, “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 his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it (Lee 39). Due to Scout’s father’s acceptance of black people, she gets bullied in school. One boy, Cecil Jacobs, shouts in the schoolyard that, “Scout Finch’s daddy defended niggers” (99). Her father discusses with her that she should not let them get to her. However, Atticus knows that Tom is almost doomed because he will be faced with an all-white jury. There are many racist characters in this novel. One being Mrs. Dubose. She is always rude to Scout and Jem as they walk by. One day, Mrs. Dubose loses her temper and yells, “your father’s no better than the niggers and trash he works for” (135). One day when Atticus leaves the children alone with Calpurnia, she decides to take the children to a “colored” church. Majority of them were delighted to have the children attend their church. …show more content…
This one is written from the perspective of a black girl, Marguerite (also known as Maya). She had a rough life growing up as a southern black girl. She states, “If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat” (Angelou 4). Marguerite was a very self-conscious girl. Early in the novel, Marguerite was getting dressed, and she mentioned, “I was going to look like one of the sweet little white girls who were everybody’s dream of what was right in the world” (2). Her mind is somewhat distorted. She believes she has no value since she was not born as a white girl. She also states, “wouldn’t they be surprised when one day I woke out of my black ugly dream, and my real hair, which was long and blond, would take the place of the kinky mass that Momma wouldn’t let me straighten” (2). Marguerite and her brother’s parents divorced when they were young. Due to this, they live with their grandmother (Annie Henderson) in Stamps, Arkansas. The children end up adopting the name Momma for their grandmother. Momma runs one of the only stores in the “colored” section of Stamps. One evening, a former sheriff comes to warn their Uncle Willie; he says, “Annie, tell Willie he better lay low tonight. A crazy nigger messed with a white lady today. Some of the boys’ll be coming over her later” (17). They end up hiding

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