Racial Injustice in the Legal System Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Kill a Mockingbird

A Textual Analysis of the Character Development within this Short Story

The short story by Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird," is an illustration of how people viewed the various stereotypical traits, which are deeply ingrained in the culture and associated with the various demographics that were present in the South during the period in which the story was set. The 1930s in the South was a period in the United States that most people cannot fully envision due to the fact that there have been many systemic changes in the country's culture. However, despite many drastic differences that are present in the contemporary period relative to the story's setting, on the other hand there are also many similarities that continue to persist until this day. For example, one of the primary themes in the story centers upon a sense of racial injustice that was present in the society depicted. Although the case can be made that the U.S. has undergone many fundamental evolutions towards becoming a more just and humane society, there is still undeniably a large level of racial injustice that still lingers in the minds of many individuals, in many overt as well as unconscious forms.

Furthermore, the story uses a crime in which most people would feel a rather emotionally charged response to in the plot to highlight the extent of the socio-cultural factors that are at play. For example, the story focuses on the court case of Tom Robinson who is an African-American that was accused and being tried for the crime of sexually molesting a younger girl. The young woman was white and thus the racial differences that are present in the victim and the perpetrator work to exaggerate the racial injustices and biases that are already widely accepted and deeply embedded in most members of the local community. For example, many of the local white members of the local community uphold a belief that all, or nearly all, Negros lie and Negro men are especially not to be trusted.

Tom's lawyer, Atticus, believed that the evidence in this case would clearly benefit his client Tom and that the evidence strongly supported the fact that his client was innocent of the charges that he faced. In the presence of such evidence, from Atticus's perspective, it actually seemed as if the circumstances could be used to point out the inherent…

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Works Cited

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Warner, 1982. Print.

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