The Theme Of Racism In The Film ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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The Theme Of Racism In The Film ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’

'To Kill A Mockingbird' is one of the most timeless pieces in the history of American literature. Published as a novel in 1960, Harper Lee's masterpiece gained instant fame and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in literature a year after its debut. The novel enjoyed a great reception and secured a permanent place in high school and college curriculums. Literature students in universities can still be spotted either analyzing ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ or enjoying Lee’s artistic characterization.

To Kill A Mockingbird comes from the southern Gothic and Bildungsroman genre, and many have explored the unique ways in which it falls under two genres. This touching story has been translated into over 40 languages to date. Above everything else, the novel’s way of dealing with the theme of racism has initiated many scholarly debates, many of which are still going on today.

The award-winning story was turned into a movie adaptation two years after its publication in 1962. The movie makers have been praised for the justice they did to the plot of the book and its theme of racial injustice. Well-acclaimed American actor Gregory Peck starred in the leading character of Atticus Finch, a role which would win him the Best Actor Oscar at the following years Academy Awards. A common topic student are assigned as a writing activity is to explore the comparisons/differences between the book and its screen adaptation – a topic that hardly has a single conclusion.

What’s There In The Story?
Set in the fictional town of Maycomb in the 1930s, 'To Kill A Mockingbird' is a story narrated by a nine-year-old girl, Scout Finch. The narrator describes her family, especially her father's, struggles as they deal with the deep-rooted American bias against the local African community. Much of the rising action deals with Scout, her brother, and their summer-time friend Dill spending their vacations roaming throughout sleepy Maycomb. In particular, the kids try to get to know Boo Radley, a recluse neighbor in the town, throughout the first half of the novel.

Scout’s father, Atticus Finch, was a man of principles and a lawyer by profession. Atticus’s character sets examples of excellent parenting and the fight against racial prejudice. This is especially evident when he decides to take on Tom Robinson, an African American, as a client in his case against a white girl.

Trying to save Tom, who was falsely accused of assaulting a white girl in a prejudiced society, causes a lot of trouble for Atticus and his family. This struggle by the Finch family has been significantly explored by many, and it's hard to find a racism essay that does not shed light on this matter. Atticus's decision to take up Tom's case is what inculcates the theme of racism in 'To Kill A Mockingbird' and makes it a historical masterpiece.

As the plot proceeds, the kids not only discover the reality behind their ghostly neighbor's alienation but also come face-to-face with the long-held prejudices of their peaceful town against the 'Mocking Birds' around them.

The Theme Of Racism In ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’
The way in which Harper Lee highlights the theme of racism in 'To Kill A Mockingbird' in a number of areas and through multiple characters was, upon release, greeted by much acclaim. Despite her publisher's pre-warning that the novel might not sell because of the racial prejudice subject matter and her holding up a mirror to "Southern culture" of the day.

There are numerous online sources, and research articles exploring the racial prejudice themes in 'To Kill A Mockingbird', including to kill a mockingbird essay, and given below are some examples from the story that fall under the same idea. The intricate yet profound way Lee has dealt with this theme is what makes this story an implicit advocator for African American rights.

No Justice
The final decision by the jury against Tom is an elaborate example of a racist ideology strongly held by the white population of Maycomb County. Tom’s case, if compared to that of the girl, was strong and had all the required evidence that could prove the girl guilty.

However, the jury decided to pass judgment against Tom because of the societal pressure and the anti-African American practices of the day. Almost everyone, including Atticus himself, was already sure about the nature of the decision that could in no way be passed in favor of a black man. Lee's fearless dealing with such an attitude against the people of color gives this novel a significant race-related angle.

Hate For Atticus
Another way in which the author has incorporated the theme of racism in the narrative is by making people “accuse” Atticus for being someone who loves people of color. Scout gets taunted by other kids because her father is a “n*****-lover." Even when she has no idea of the term's meaning, she finds it offensive because of the way people use it. The idea of someone taking a black man’s side bought shame to Maycomb County. Through their hatred for Atticus, the people of Maycomb further highlighted their racist attitudes.

This heartfelt southern Gothic tale by Harper Lee is, indeed, everything a socially responsible story should be. The author deals with the theme of racism in an anti-racist manner, symbolizing it through a mad dog. The ultimate message given by Lee is of peace, which can only be achieved by removing the hysterical dog of racism, just like Atticus Finch tried. Overall, the story is powerful, heartfelt, sentimental, and at the same time, hopeful, leaving its reader with many questions and answers all at once.

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