“How does ‘To kill a Mockingbird’ tie in With the real history of the American Deep South”
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At the beginning of the book Scout, Jem and Dill show a lot of prejudice towards Boo Radley. They treated him as a ‘freak’ rather then as a human being. The community is very close knit so gossip travels fast. People show a lack of knowledge, as there was no solid evidence to back up some of the wild claims. Most people fear what they don’t understand, which then leads to prejudice. People like Aunt Alexandra fit in Maycomb very well, as she shares the same views on classes amongst other things.
She is quite a patronising person who is obsessed with categorising people she say’s that ‘No Crawford can be trusted, No Every third Merriweather is morbid etc…. ‘ She was proud of her roots as were many middle class whites during the 1930’s. She was concerned in what manner to act towards people of different classes. And felt very wary about speaking badly of black people in front of Cal. She shows forms of disgust towards anybody who isn’t white middle class. The farming community was respectful towards white middle class such as Atticus.
They show hate towards Negroes, you can see this when they try to kill Tom Robinson. The Low class whites hate everybody. They find the middle white class snobby and have a superior air about them. You can see this in the courtroom when Mayella asks, “Are you making fun of me? ” when clearly Atticus wasn’t. They are very defensive as they feel the middle class whites are always trying to out smart them. They also hate the black community. Mr Ewell refers to the Negro settlement as a ‘Nigger nest. ‘ Which shows his lack of respect for the negroes.
Mr Ewell was probably a typical low class white male during the 1930’s. A lot of the poor white people had never owned slaves before the civil war, were particularly resentful towards the black community. The saw them as the potential threat towards their security. Some people blamed the Negroes for their job loses, saying the Negroes were taking all the jobs away. In 1861 a war had started between the North and South America. This was known as the Civil war. The Southern States had broke away from the main United States and formed a new group called the Confederate States of America.
The main reason this being fought was slavery. The South’s economy depended on selling goods like tobacco, cotton and sugar, which was produced on plantations worked by black slaves. The Southern states justified this practice believing the black people were inferior to white. The Northern states did not want it to continue. The war was fought for four years until the North go it’s way and the south had to rejoin the United states and slavery was abolished. he black people in this book were considered in this book are shown as excellent, model American citizens.
They are almost like a Mockingbird, they don’t do one thing wrong but work for themselves and the community. The only black person in the book that seems to show prejudice to the white community is Lula. She adds a touch of realism because it seemed that everybody in the black community were too nice to b true. I think Harper Lee was trying to get across the point that not all black people were bad but not all were good. Just like white people. I think some of the black communities thought a lot like Lula.
They were bitter about the way they were treated and showed resentment to the white people who treated them badly. However not all the white community were prejudice towards blacks. People like Atticus and Miss Maudie treated the negroes like any other person. They showed compassion and they wanted to try and change the way narrow minded people like Aunt Alexandra thought about them. People like Dolphus Raymond were completely free of prejudice towards black people and did not see the skin colour of the person but the inside personality.
People in Maycomb did not understand his way of life, why he would want to share his life with a black woman and have mixed race children. So Mr Raymond had to pretend he was drunk so the people of Maycomb could say ‘Dolphus can’t help his ways he’s always drunk. ‘ People during the 1930s had fixed ideas about who you married, settled down with etc… You married the person within your class. They never crossed the borders so when Dolphus Raymond decided to settle down with a black woman people were probably shocked because they don’t understand why. Mr Raymond just let people believe what they want to believe.
Jem said to Scout that the mixed children were ‘sad’ and rejected by the white community because they were half-black and they were rejected by the black community because the were half-white. It’s sad to think that a minority of people feel this way. Maybe black and white people rejected them but I feel the children weren’t sad. I think as long as they had themselves, their parents and health they were happy. I think that no matter what race you are during the 1930s you are always going to come across some form of prejudice. But if everybody were like Atticus and Miss Maudie the world would probably free of racial prejudice.