To Kill A Mockingbird

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade September 2001

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I believed this book was very significant to the 1960's time frame. The book took place in the deep south set in the 1930's were family's were just getting over the depression and racism and bigotry were still in every part a way of life. At the particular time women and children were not viewed as equals. The women from this book behaved the way society said they should. They wore dresses, behaved in a fake mannerism, and they were supposed to take care of their families. Most children were not allowed to think as independently and are brought up in a way to continue behaving in a way were racism and prejudice are exercised daily. The primary children, Scout and Jem are brought up in way to think differently, but the majority of the town and society still are ignorant to the fact that they are wrong. This book is told through the eyes of Scout, and as her and her brother start to view the world they live in and then first hand witness Tom's trial, I believe they got a pretty good idea of the nature of racism and prejudice and how wrong it was.

Their were several instances in this book were the kids would call each other names and make fun of each other regarding racial matters and they wouldn't have a clue as to what they were talking about. These children were still in many ways more subject to change their way of thinking than the rest of the older society. When Atticus gave his closing argument something he said made a lot of since for the time frame this took place. As he was speaking of the chief witness for the state he summed it up by saying "She has committed no crime, she has merrily broken a rigid time-honored code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. She is a victim of cruel poverty and ignorance, and I cannot pity her: she is white." Then Attikus goes on to say she did something every child has done "“ she tried to put the evidence of her offence away from her. I thought this very well set the stage to the way society was. It also reminded me of when Dill had started crying uncontrollably at the trial and how when the children spoke to Mr. Raymond. He told the children of how he acts like a drunk, so people will leave him alone. When Scout asked why he told them that, he explained because they were children and they could understand it. He said over years you won't cry, but the simple fact is you will get used to the fact that there is injustice. I think this book is significant to the Civil Rights movement and made people realize how messed up the way of life had become. Atticus said something along the lines that this trial even with its injustice still paved the way for change. Typically, even with that clear cut and dry case, the jury would have only deliberated a few minutes. Even though the outcome was the same after the long deliberation it made people think, paving the way for change to come.