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    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 1

    help me please!!

    I'm writting a essay about the theme racial in the book" To kill the mockingbird" for the literature class, I need to find three quotes for the essay, but i can't find them because i don't know what quotes are, Please help me. Here what I have so far:

    The novel To Kill a Mockingbird demonstrates many themes but racism is strongest. Racism in the book takes the form of physical, emotional and institutional discrimination. The three main discriminations in the novel include the unfair life of a Negro in Maycomb, Mrs. Dubose’s attitude towards the Finch family when the court case started and the Tom Robinson’s case.

    In the small town of Maycomb, the white people lived in the centre where there was the bank, courthouse, Tribune Office, Hardware store and the post office. There was a dirt road that “ran from the highway past the dump, down to a small Negro settlement some five hundred yards beyond the Ewells (pg188).” The Ewells were known as severely poor and mean people but the Negroes were thought to be even more inferior so they were positioned further away from the town central which is unreasonable and racist. There were many unoccupied spaces in the town yet the Negroes were forced to live on the outskirts of the town. Secondly, Negroes were also expected to exit and enter from backdoors of houses. When Calpurnia was alerting the town about the mad dog by knocking on the front doors, Scout said “She’s supposed to go around in back.” This is quite offensive because the backs of houses are often the filthy side and are usually not accessed from. This also shows that children were wrongly taught about Negroes at an early age. Religion-wise, the Negroes and the whites both worship the same god but they have separate churches. The Negroes worshipped in this “First Purchase” African M.E. Church on Sundays “and white men gambled in it on weekdays (pg130).” Having the white men gambling in the Negroes’ church is very disrespectful to their god and the Negroes that worship in the church because gambling is often thought of as sinful because the gamblers usually smoke and get drunk which is the opposite of god’s teaching is.

    Apart from the physical discrimination, emotional discrimination was also present in the novel. Jem, Scout and Atticus were often verbally abused by Mrs. Dubose causing emotional stress and uncontrollable anger. Mrs. Dubose had always insulted Jem and Scout when they walked past her house but her comments got stronger when Atticus started to defend Tom Robinson. Mrs. Dubose went as far as saying “Your father’s no better than the niggers and trash he works for! (pg113)” These racial comments eventually caused Jem to explode and rampage through her garden. Scout also copped a lot of racial comments about the court case. At school, her classmate Cecil Jacobs said that Scout’s “daddy was a discrase an’ that nigger oughta hang from the water-tank! (pg85)” This caused Scout to get into a fist fight and eventually, she was confused about why her father was doing something that the townspeople didn’t appreciate. These issues were all caused by the theme of racism in the novel.

    Last is the institutional discrimination caused by the racial theme. During Tom Robinson’s trial that Jem and Scout watched, they realized that all the white people sat comfortably at the bottom and all the Negroes sat and stood in the gallery at the top. They also realised that there were no Negroes in the jury which shows that the white people think Negroes are not smart enough to make rightful decisions. The white men of Maycomb also attempted to prevent Tom Robinson from having a fair trial by attempting to kill him before the trial finished. These white men believed Ewell’s side of the case without going through thorough investigation of the rape because they thought Negroes were liars. With this assumption in mind, they tried to kill Tom Robinson because of his offences. This shows that most people of Maycomb were not educated well and are now dangerously racist.

    In conclusion, the physical, emotional and institutional racial discrimination that the Finch family has copped raised many issues which ultimately caused the death of innocent Tom Robinson.

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409

    Re: help me please!!

    Scout said “She’s supposed to go around in back.”
    This is an example of a quote, where you have taken the exact words as they appeared in the text of the book; and use the quote to demonstrate racism.
    This is a very good quote. Family, friends, and guests would be welcomed and admitted by the front door, and ushered into the living room or dining room to be received and entertained. Tradesmen would be asked to go to the back door because they are there on business. If any other person called at the house and was asked to go round to the back door, this would be seen as insulting, that the person was inferior. So, by black people having to use the back door is an indication that they were regarded as inferior.

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: help me please!!

    This is quite offensive because the backs of houses are often the filthy side

    However, I think it should be made clear that the back door would not be dirty in the real sense of the word. It is the tradesmans' entrance, where the business of housekeeping matters takes place. It was [and is in some places] as much a social requirement in any country as in the Southern States of the USA.


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