To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

871 words - 4 pages

The film "To Kill A Mockingbird" is based on the story of a young girl named Jean Louise Finch. It tells the tale of her childhood in the deep south where racial discrimination was seen in day to day life. It shows how her widowed father defends a black man when all hope is lost. The theme of the movie is ageless. It is still relevant and controversial. Harper Lee wrote, "As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men everyday of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it - whenever a white man does that to a black man , no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from he is trash." This quote underlines that regardless of how much money a man has, or where he fits on the social ladder, his actions and humanity are what define him.
The film appealed to me as it told many stories and lessons of inequality and injustice in society. The main theme and central focus of the book is the racial tension of the time, an alleged crime and the resulting trial. Society is shown to be structured along two classes - the white members of society that make the laws and give out punishment and the black members of society that, are treated like second class citizens. The African Americans in the community face discrimination, are poor and live in fear of retaliation for any perceived slight. Racism and intolerance are obvious and prevalent. In this setting a poor black man is accused of the rape of a white woman. Tom Robinson is faced not only with a serious legal crime but also a death sentence at the hands of racists. Atticus, Scouts father, never gives up on the case. He also never lets gossip or peer pressure get to him as he is of a strong mind. He fights for what he believes and doesn't change his mind based on what is said. Even though there is a lot of racism (including angry mobs) around him, he is able to understand and empathise with Tom Robinson.
It is by stepping into another person's shoes and getting to know that person's hopes, dreams and frustrations, that the hate and fear of those that are different, can be erased. I would get to know people before I formed an opinion Atticus does exactly that. He gets to know people. He meets with Toms family and gets to know them by name. He understands that they love and care for their family, just like he...

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