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The novel to Kill a Mockingbird by the author Harper Lee, is considered one the essential English classics. It introduces a moral issue, which used to take place back in the 1930's and still has an effect on western society. The author presents the case of racism, and the misjudgement of people that took place between white Americans, and the African Americans. As for this case the reader acquires an important moral behaviour towards the issue of racism through the novel. They learn that; in order to judge someone, looks and traits aren't the matter, but the acknowledgement that the existence of evil is balanced by faith in the essential goodness of humans is the first rule for judging people.
The period of time where the novel was written had a great impact on the theme of the novel. The novel was written around the 1980's in which the period of the Harlem renaissance still had an effect on some countries. The Harlem Renaissance was when a mass of African American people migrated to northern urban centres. Due to this, the issue of racism was raised. Many of the white Americans weren't accepting the idea of sharing public transportations, places, churches, work levels, and everything in their lives with the African Americans. It was shown through the novel in many different situations. The black people had a church outside the town limits "First Purchase African M.E. Church was in the Quarters outside the southern town limits" (118). However, the black people didn't have decent places to worship in. They were also abandoned from their human rights and dignity when they were dead. Their cemetery was a place where "graves were marked with crumbling tombstones; newer ones were outlined with brightly coloured glass and broken Coca- Cola bottles" (118). Therefore, the literary period was an influence on the theme of the novel, and it reflected the way the author wrote some scenes which showed racism.
Another aspect in the novel that showed racism was the response of the town's people to Atticus's action. These responses clarified the treatment of those who defend victims of racism by the people of Maycomb County. Since Atticus started on Tom Robinson's case, the positive light suddenly turned against the Finches, as the ugly, racist underbelly of Southern life exposed itself. This hatred against the Finches was shown in many scenes through the novel. When Scout was at school and Cecil Jacobs declared that "Scout Finche's daddy defended niggers" (74), this showed that even the small little children were raised with racism in their blood. Ms. Dubose as well was very cruel towards Atticus's position. When Jem and Scout were once at Ms. Dubose's house she told them, "your father's no better that the niggers and trash he works for!" (102). Consequently, that was another aspect of racism that was shown through the novel by the actions of the town's people to whoever tried to victor the victims of racism.
One of the other most important aspects that proved racism was when there was misjudgement in the Tom Robinson trial. Atticus did his best in the trial defending Tom Robinson. Unfortunately, the judges had in mind that the case was against Tom Robinson because of his ethnicity. The trial was totally unfair and misjudged. The judges' beliefs and knowledge taught them that the black people are always guilty, and white people are righteous, no matter how low their social level was. Bob Ewell was considered as the mockery on the county. However, in the court he was a very important person and was the person who felt as a victim with hatred, viscous, black slave. Bob Ewell and his daughter felt no guilt towards accusing a black man. Malleya and her dad did not have any morals, and wanted to build themselves a good reputation upon destroying someone else. As for Mr. Cunningham, he showed some morality earlier. When he attacked Atticus with a mob and Scout told him about his son then she said "Tell him hey for me, wont you?" (154). Mr. Cunningham then backed off and went away, just because deep inside him he knew that the Finches were great people. This showed that whatever evilness one can be, or show there must still be essential goodness.
However, during the trial the judges did not even try to look for the goodness in people. Forgetting everything about the people's background or how they look like, and fairly listen about what different people get to say. From the beginning of the trial, Atticus knew the conclusion. Racism was shown in the court when the judge yelled at Mr. Link because he was defending Tom Robinson and declaring that Mayella was a liar. Mr. Link was then suspended from the court for saying "that boy's worked for me eight years an 'I ain't had a speck o'trouble outa him..." (195), was what he said regarding Tom. Before the judge gave out the last judgement of the court for this trial, Atticus said some words thinking that he might wake up the hearts of the judges, and make them judge this case with morality and as non- racists. He said;
"As we know is in itself a lie as black as Tom Robinson's skin, a lie I do not have to point out to you. You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral; some Negro men are not to be trusted around women- black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and no particular race of men. There is not a person in this court room who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire." (204)
This quote was derived from Atticus's moral soul, as he thought that the judge might reconsider his decision. Unfortunately, the judges gave the order of putting Tom Robinson in prison. Therefore racism took over the fairness of the court and was the only weapon the judges used, it weren't truth and fairness but lack of knowledge that deep in every person there is essential goodness.
In conclusion, morality plays an important role in the novel. Due to the presence of it in some character, and how it's dead in others, the ones who had it acknowledged the essential goodness in humans. Consequently racism and the belief in essential goodness even in evil people thoughts were the main theme of the novel. The literary period was a great influence on how the author wrote the novel, and then the aspect of racism was clearly seen through the novel through various situations. The reader understands a very important moral issue by reading this novel, and acquires the knowledge that it does not matter what race are you from all what matters is what you really are deep inside your heart.