(855) 4-ESSAYS

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

Civil Rights in To Kill a Mockingbird

            Robert Mulligan's film classic, "To Kill a Mockingbird" is based on the celebrated novel of the same name, by Harper Lee. The film is set in the 1930's, the era of Lee's childhood. Harper Lee was born in Alabama, and her father, a lawyer, defended two black men accused of murdering a white storekeeper, and it is from this account that Lee created a story that would challenge and inspire generations. .
             Throughout the film, lawyer Atticus Finch, attempts to stand on a moral playing field, despite the radical opposition of the townspeople and his courtroom peers. He believed that all people, no matter their nationality, deserve to be treated justly. The concept of equality that Finch espoused was beginning to pick up speed by the 1960's, with more white Americans embracing the idea that it was time for equality for all. When Finch's young daughter, Scout, asks him why he was defending Tom Robinson, a black man, he said, "For a number of reasons. The main one is that if I didn't, I couldn't hold my head up in town. I couldn't even tell you or Jem not to do something again." The implication that being a racist was reason enough to "hang one's head", was a concept that was picking up speed in the Civil Rights Movement of the 60's.
             Much of "To Kill a Mockingbird" takes place in the local courtroom, and it's evident that most of the townspeople have lived a lifetime of deeply ingrained racist hatred. The moral Atticus Finch clearly proves that Robinson was innocent of any wrongdoing - despite the color of his skin. Robinson explains that contrary to what his accusers believed of him, he had tried to help Mayella Ewell because he "felt sorry for her". "Upon hearing that, the crowd in the courtroom murmured, and the prosecutor even mocked Robinson for claiming that he had attempted to be kind to a white woman. This scene in the courtroom challenges the stereotype that black men are "basically immoral beings"" and "not to be trusted around white women".

Essays Related to Civil Rights in To Kill a Mockingbird

Got a writing question? Ask our professional writer!
Submit My Question