"To Kill a Mockingbird", by Harper Lee: How does Harper Lee present the Black Community in Chapter 12 of 'To Kill A Mockingbird?

Essay by bunnyluverJunior High, 8th grade October 2006

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"To Kill A Mockingbird" is a Pultzer Prize winning novel set in the 1930's. This novel written by Harper Lee expresses the racism and prejudice at this time. In chapter 12, Calpurnia, who is a black maid working in a white household, takes Jem and Scout to her church. This allows Harper Lee to present the Black Community in more detail.

The first view of the black community that Harper Lee presents to us is a very positive one. The author makes it clear that the black people receive a lot less respect, but they have adapted to this and made the best of the unfair situation. "First Purchase African M.E Church was in the Quarters outside the southern town limits, across the old sawmill tracks." This shows that the black people could not even build their church inside the town limits, and were forced to build further away from the town.

Despite the example of how they were treated unfairly and without consideration, the community still take pride in the little they are allowed. The reader is shown this through many different examples and small details. A clear case of this would be how intricately and thoughtfully decorated the graves in the cemetery are, showing how the black community could still express care and devotion with what they did have. " A few graves in the cemetery were marked with crumbling tombstones; newer ones were outlines with brightly coloured glass and broken Coca-Cola bottles. Lightning rods guarding some graves denoted dead who rested uneasily; stumps of burned-out candles stood at the heads of infant graves. It was a happy cemetery." Here, we also see that poverty has a great effect on the way the black people live, in contrast to the white, but not on their enthusiasm...