In Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, it deals with a variety of characters in the 1930’s time period showing signs of hope for ending racism and prejudice by a court case, many events leading up to the case, and In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus, Scout, and Boo Radley demonstrate hope for ending racism and prejudice through defending Tom Robinson in court, fighting against the many who are against her father, and Boo Radley connecting with the Finch children and saving them.
Atticus demonstrates hope for ending racism/prejudice by defending Tom Robinson and not paying mind to what others may say about the case. On page 75, Atticus states, “The main one is, if I didn’t I couldn’t represent this country in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again” (Lee 75). Atticus could not bear to face his children or the world as a lawyer if he did not attempt at the court case. Him not participating in the court case would make him viewed as racist, shameful, and most of all, someone his children could no longer look up to or ask questions to. Atticus defends Tom Robinson by saying on page 273, “And so a quiet respectable, humble On page 195, Atticus says, “Link, that boy might go to the chair, but he’s not going till the truth’s told.’ Atticus’ voice was even. ‘And you know what the truth is” (Lee 195). Atticus, in this quote, is determined to tell the truth and only the truth to the abounding amount of people attending Tom Robinson’s court case. Atticus is fully aware that Tom Robinson may be given the verdict of guilty and given death by an electric chair, but he wants everyone to at the very least have the knowledge and be fully aware that the accused, Tom Robinson, never performed such violent, disgusting acts as Mayella, the accuser, had arraigned. Atticus demonstrates hope for ending racism and prejudice by having the courage and dauntlessness to defend a black man in court, no matter how people in society will view him for it.
Scout demonstrates hope for ending racism by fighting Cecil Jacobs, fighting against Francis and his taunting words, and going to church with Calpurnia. On page 99, Scout says, “Cecil Jacobs made me forget. He had announced in the schoolyard the day before that Scout Finch’s daddy defended n-words” (Lee 99). Cecil Jacobs, a fellow schoolmate, is insulting both Scout and her father by announcing publicly at school that her father defends black people She then gets into a brawl or scuffle with him, purely in the name of fighting for her father. This demonstrates her views on racism, and shows hope for ending it. On Page 110, Francis insults Atticus and says, “Grandma says it’s bad enough he lets you run all wild, but now he’s turned out a n-word lover we’ll never be able to walk the streets of Maycomb agin.
He’s ruinin’ the family, that’s what he’s doing” (Lee 110). Francis is deeply and repeatedly insulting Scout and taunting her with the fact that Atticus will be defending a black man in court. However, Scout is defending her father and his views and what he’s doing by having rebuttals and fighting Francis. During the church scene with Calpurnia and Lula questioning their appearance at a black church, Scout gets a taste of racism. Lula had treated Scout with disrespect, and had essentially reversed the tables by insulting her for her skin color. However, when people like Zeebo the trash collector apologize for Lula’s bad behavior, and Reverend Sykes, who thanked Scout and her brother for coming, she sees that there’s an injustice in how they’re treated. Through these examples, Scout truly demonstrates hope for ending racism by fighting Cecil Jacobs, fighting against Francis, and going to church with Calpurnia and having a prime example of racism directed towards her.
Boo Radley demonstrates hope for ending prejudice by coming out of his house to save the Finch children, defying Jem’s words describing him, and trying to connect with them. On page 78, Jem says, “When I went back for my breeches – they were all in a tangle when I was gettin’ out of ‘em, I couldn’t get ‘em loose. When I went back -’ Jem took a deep breath. ‘When I went back, they were folded across the fence… like they were expectin’ me.’ ‘An something else – Show you when we get home. They’d been sewed up. Not like a lady sewed ‘em, like somethin’ I’d try to do all crooked” (Lee 78). Jem is indirectly explaining to Scout that he believes Boo Radley attempted to fix and mend his breeches, and folded them across the fence for him to collect with ease. This is demonstrating Boo Radley giving a friendly, considerate hand to the Finch children, and attempting to develop a friendship indirectly with them and it contradicts the Finch children’s view of him completely.
During the children’s school year and summer, they find small trinkets and goods in the hollow of a tree on the Radley’s property. The siblings find lucky, special items, like Indian-head pennies, gum, and soap model replicas of them both. They indirectly infer that Boo Radley must be leaving the gifts in the tree hollow for them specially. Here, Boo Radley is trying to reach out to the children kindheartedly and be thoughtful. Nearing the end of the novel, Bob Ewell is drunk and has a desire to wreak havoc and get revenge on Atticus for the court case. As his form of revenge, he decides to attempt to kill Atticus’ children with malice. Boo Radley emerges from his home, kills Bob Ewell in defense of the children, and evidently saves them from peril. This shows Boo Radley’s true side to himself, even though Jem describes him as a vicious wild animal eater with permanently bloodstained hands. Boo Radley demonstrates hope for ending prejudice by attempting to connect with the Finch children in a variety of thoughtful, indirect ways, contradicting their former viewpoint of him, and saving them from despair.
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