Who Is Biased In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Who Is Biased In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Video Sparknotes: Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird Summary

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Jean Louise Finch, who is nicknamed "Scout," portrays the circumstances which incorporate her widowed father, Atticus, and his lawful barrier of Tom Robinson, a nearby dark man who was erroneously blamed for assaulting a white lady. In the three years encompassing the trial, Scout and her more seasoned. Black people continued to work for white people, and many looked with disdain upon individuals who stood up for African Americans. Also, the bias toward Caucasians resulted in unjust court outcomes. The story stretches over a span of three years through the duration of the Great Depression.

The institutional. The theme of justice plays a major role in To Kill a Mockingbird. Ideally, justice would be blind to race, gender or other differences yet, as shown in To Kill a Mockingbird, it isn't and for the most part, justice is not served. Many innocent characters, or mockingbirds, are subject to the injustice of the prejudice. There are countless court cases that closely resemble the trial that took place in the novel, such as the Scottsboro Trials. The book was published right before the culmination of the Civil Rights Movement. Relations and Injustices in the s and Today To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee showcases the racial injustices and tensions that were presented in the s; since the s the racial tensions have improved, but with improvement, there will always be a struggle and other circumstances that prevent complete equality from prevailing.

Segregation, racism, and inequality have all been obstacles that were presented in the s. Issues such as racial bias and profiling that occur not only in the south. Harper Lee met the topic of racism head on in her novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Racism can separate a society and can put one up against each other, which can be seen in To Kill a Mockingbird. When talking to Atticus. Individual combatting acts toward racism have become beacons of light in the darkness that is discrimination in society. Racial bias in court has been an issue for a long time as many people know. He is about Jack smells like alcohol and something sweet and it is said that he and Alexandra have similar features.

Jack is a childless doctor who can always make Scout and Jem laugh, and they adore him. He and Miss Maudie are close to the same age; he frequently teases her with marriage proposals, which she always declines. The Maycomb children believe that "Boo" Radley, a recluse , is a nice person. Jem starts to have a different understanding of Radley. Scout finally meets him at the very end of the book, when he saves the children's lives from Bob Ewell. When Boo whispers to Scout to walk him back to the Radley house, at first, Scout does not recognize him. She describes him as being sickly white, with a thin mouth, thin and feathery hair and grey eyes almost as if he were blind.

Scout pictures what it would be like to be Radley. While standing on his porch, she realizes that he is not that lonely. When Bob Ewell tries to murder the Finch children, no one sees what happens in the scuffle but Ewell is dead and it is Radley who carries an unconscious Jem into the Finch's house. He is played by Robert Duvall in the film. Judge John Taylor runs his court in an informal fashion with the enjoyment of singing and dipping tobacco. During the Tom Robinson trial, he shows great distaste for the Ewells and considerable respect for Atticus.

Because of the judge's sympathies for Tom, Bob Ewell attempts to break into the judge's house while the judge's wife is at church. After the trial, Miss Maudie points out to the children that the judge had tried to help Tom by appointing Atticus to the case instead of Maxwell Green, the new, untried lawyer who usually received court-appointed cases. Judge Taylor knew that Atticus was the only man who would stand a chance at acquitting Tom, or at least be able to keep the jury thinking for more than just a few minutes.

By doing this, Judge Taylor was not giving in or supporting racism. He is played by Paul Fix in the film. He is accused and put on trial for the rape of a white woman, Mayella Ewell. Atticus is assigned to defend him and stands up to a lynch mob intent on exacting their own justice against him before the trial begins. Tom's left arm is crippled and useless, the result of an accident with a cotton gin when he was a child. Atticus uses this fact as the cornerstone of his defense strategy, pointing out that the nature of Mayella's facial injuries strongly suggests a left-handed assailant. Tom testifies that he had frequently helped Mayella with household chores because he felt sorry for her and the family's difficult life - a statement that shocks the all-white, male jury.

Despite Atticus' skilled defense, the jury's racial prejudices lead them to find Tom guilty. Atticus plans to appeal the verdict, but before he can do so, Tom is shot and killed while trying to escape the prison where he is being held. Tom Robinson is played by Brock Peters. Robert E. He has a daughter named Mayella and a younger son named Burris, as well as six other unnamed children. He is an alcoholic, poaching game to feed his family because he spends whatever money they legally gain via government "relief checks" on alcohol. It is implied, and his left-handedness suggests, that he was the one who abused his daughter Mayella, not Tom Robinson the African American man accused of doing so.

It is clear that Tom Robinson was convicted because he is a Negro whose accuser is white. Upon hearing of Tom's death, Ewell is gleeful, gloating about his success. After being humiliated at the trial, however, he goes on a quest for revenge, becoming increasingly violent. He begins by spitting in Atticus' face, followed by a failed attempt to break into the home of Judge Taylor, then finally menacing Helen, the poor widow of Tom Robinson. Ewell later attempts to murder Jem and Scout Finch with a knife to complete his revenge. Boo Radley saves Jem and Scout and it is believed that he kills Ewell with the knife. Heck Tate, the sheriff, puts in the official report that Bob Ewell fell on his own knife and died after lying under a tree for 45 minutes.

Ewell is played by James Anderson in the film. Mayella Violet Ewell, 19, is the oldest of the eight Ewell children. Before the trial, Mayella is noted for growing red geraniums outside her otherwise dirty house to bring some beauty into her life. Due to her family's living situation, Mayella has no opportunity for human contact or love. She eventually gets so desperate that she attempts to seduce a black man, Tom Robinson. She does this by saving up nickels to send her siblings to go get ice cream so that she can be alone with Tom. Her father sees this through a window and punishes her with a savage beating. Ewell tells Heck Tate, the sheriff, that Tom has raped and beaten his daughter.

At the trial, Atticus points out that only the right side of Mayella's face is injured, suggesting a left-handed assailant; Tom's left arm is mangled and useless, but Bob Ewell is left-handed. When Atticus asks her if she has friends, she becomes confused because she does not know what a friend is. During her testimony, Atticus' polite speech confuses her and she thinks he's mocking her when he calls her "Miss Mayella. Mayella is played by Collin Wilcox in the film. Miss Maude "Maudie" Atkinson, a widow of about 40, lives across the road from the Finches. She had known them all her life, being the daughter of Dr. Frank Buford, their neighbouring landowner to the Finch ancestral home, Finch's Landing.

She enjoys baking and gardening; her cakes are held in especially high regard. However, she is frequently harassed by devout "Foot-Washing Baptists" , who tell her that her enjoyment of gardening is a sin. The Foot-Washing Baptists also believe that women are a sin "by definition". Miss Maudie befriends Scout and Jem and tells them stories about Atticus as a boy. It is strongly implied that she and Atticus have a more than a platonic relationship. Also, she is one of the few adults that Jem and Scout hold in high regard and respect. She does not act condescendingly towards them, even though they are young children. When she suffers a house fire , she shows remarkable courage throughout, even saying that she had wanted to burn it down herself to make more room for her flowers.

She is not prejudiced, though she talks caustically to Miss Stephanie Crawford, unlike many of her Southern neighbors, and teaches Scout important lessons about racism and human nature. It is important to note that Miss Maudie fully explains that "it is a sin to kill a mockingbird", whereas Atticus Finch initially brings up the subject but doesn't go into depth. When Jem gets older and doesn't want to be bothered by Scout, Miss Maudie keeps her from getting angry.

She is played by Rosemary Murphy in the film. Francis Hancock is Aunt Alexandra's spoiled grandson, the son of her son Henry. Francis lives in Mobile, Alabama , and is a bit of a tattle-tale. He gets along well with Jem, but often spars with Scout. One Christmas, Francis calls Atticus a "nigger-lover," as well as insisting that he was ruining the family, which infuriates Scout and causes them to get into a fight. Francis lies about his role in it, telling Uncle Jack that Scout started it by calling him a "whore lady", and Jack therefore punishes Scout. However, she explains the full story and charitably persuades her uncle not to punish Francis about it, but to let Atticus think they had been fighting about something else.

Henry Lafayette Dubose is an elderly woman who lives near the Finches. She is hated by the children, who run past her house to avoid her. Scout describes Mrs. Dubose as "plain hell. Dubose's camellia bushes. As a punishment, Jem is required to read to Mrs. Dubose each day for a month. As Jem reads, she experiences fits of drooling and twitching and does not seem to pay any attention to the words. When an alarm clock rings, Jem is allowed to leave for the day. She sets the alarm for a slightly later time each day and extends the punishment for one week beyond the end of the original month. Shortly after Mrs. Dubose lets Jem go at the end of this extra week, Atticus brings word that she has died after a long and painful illness. Years earlier, her doctor had prescribed morphine as a painkiller, to which she soon became addicted.

She decided that she wanted to break the addiction before she died, and used Jem's reading as a distraction to help her do so. In thanks, Mrs. Dubose sends him a candy box with a camellia flower in it; Jem burns the box in anger but is later seen by Scout admiring the flower. Atticus tells Jem that Mrs. Dubose was the bravest person he ever knew and that she was trying to teach Jem the importance of bravery and true courage to endure anything when the situation is hopeless, as in her morphine addiction. Heck eventually persuades Atticus to accept the theory that Ewell accidentally fell on his own knife, thus saving the harmless, reclusive Boo from the public exposure of a criminal trial.

Braxton Bragg Underwood is a news reporter and a friend of Atticus. He owns and also publishes The Maycomb Tribune. Being a racist, he disagrees with Atticus on principle. He also has a strong belief in justice, as exemplified when he defends Atticus from the Cunningham mob by keeping a shotgun trained on them throughout the confrontation. He also demonstrates some humanity when he publishes a scathing editorial comparing the killing of Tom Robinson a cripple to "the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children. Horace Gilmer is a lawyer from Abbottsville, and is the prosecutor of the Tom Robinson trial. Gilmer is between the ages of forty and sixty. Gilmer has a slight cast with one eye, which he uses to his advantage in trial.

Gilmer was extremely racist when he harshly cross examined Tom. He and Atticus are not rivals and talk to each other during recesses of the case. Reynolds is the Maycomb doctor. He is well known to Scout and Jem. Scout says that he "had brought Jem and me into the world, had led us through every childhood disease known to man including the time Jem fell out of the tree house, and he had never lost our friendship. Reynolds said that if we were boil-prone things would have been different Dolphus Raymond is a white landowner who is jaded by the hypocrisy of the white society and prefers to live among black folks. In fact, he has children with a black woman. Dolphus pretends he is an alcoholic so that the people of Maycomb will have an excuse for his behavior, but in fact he only drinks Coca-Cola out of a paper bag to try to hide it.

When Dill and Scout discover that he is not a drunk, they are amazed. He shows Scout how sometimes you can pretend to be someone else so people will be able to understand you better. Link Deas owns cotton fields and a store in Maycomb. He is Tom Robinson's employer and when he announces in court, that he had not "had a speck o' trouble outta him" in the eight years Tom had been working for him, he is sent out by Judge John Taylor for his outburst. Deas fiercely defends her and threatens to have Ewell arrested if he keeps bothering her. Deas is on Tom Robinson's side throughout the trial and later he employs Helen. Miss Caroline Fisher is the first-grade teacher and is new to Alabama and its ways. She attempts to teach the first-grade class using a new method that she took from a college course that Jem mistakenly refers to as the way library books are classified: the Dewey Decimal Classification.

She is upset by Scout's advanced reading capabilities and believes that Scout is receiving lessons from Atticus. She feels as though Scout is trying to outsmart and mock her. In an effort to standardize the class, she forbids Scout from reading with her father. Atticus asks Scout to step into Miss Caroline's skin. However, he continues to allow Scout to read with him at night so long as she continues to go to school. Miss Caroline has good intentions but proves quite incompetent as a teacher.

She is also very sensitive and gets emotionally hurt quite easily, as seen when she cries after Burris Ewell yells at her, "Report and be damned to ye! Ain't no snot-nosed slut of a schoolteacher ever born c'n make me do nothin'! You ain't makin' me go nowhere, missus. You just remember that, you ain't makin' me go nowhere! Reverend Sykes is the reverend of the First Purchase M. African Church in Maycomb County, where most if not all of the African-American characters go to church. Reverend Sykes forces the congregation to donate 10 dollars for Tom Robinson's family since at the time, Tom's wife, Helen, was having trouble finding work.

During the trial, when the courtroom was too packed for the children to find seats, Reverend Sykes lets the kids sit with him up in the colored balcony and even saves their seats for them. Stephanie Crawford is the neighborhood gossip and claims she saw Boo Radley from her bedroom standing outside her window one night. Crawford is one of the first on the scene after a loud gunshot is heard behind the Radley house. She is a friend of Alexandra Hancock.

She lets Miss Maudie live with her when her house burns down. She is thrilled to pass on gossip to the kids about Boo Radley. Miss Rachel Haverford is Dill's aunt and the Finches' next door neighbor. She drank neat whiskey heavily after seeing a rattlesnake coiled in her closet, on her washing, when she hung her negligee up. Even though she can be very hard to deal with, she truly does love her nephew. Her family name, in the legends of Maycomb County, is synonymous with jackass.

She is also a Southern Belle. Helen Robinson is the wife of Tom Robinson and the mother of their three children. She is spoken about a few times. Employed by Link Deas following the death of her husband, she is repeatedly harassed by Bob Ewell when traveling to work. Upon learning of this, Deas threatens Ewell, forcing him to stop. She is an example of how one person's actions can have an effect on a lot of people and she elucidates the hardships that surround the Tom Robinson case. Nathan Radley is Arthur "Boo" Radley's brother. After discovering that Boo has been leaving small items in a tree knothole for Jem and Scout to find, he seals the hole with cement.

He helps Miss Maudie when her house is on fire by saving some of her belongings. Jessie is Mrs. Dubose's black nurse. She shoos the children out when Mrs. Dubose has her fits, and does seem to care enormously for Mrs. When Jem is forced to read to Mrs. Dubose, Jessie kindly leads Jem and Scout to the door when Mrs. Dubose's alarm goes off. Burris Ewell, a son of Bob Ewell, is belligerent like his father.

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