27 October 2011
Harper Lee’s book, To Kill a Mockingbird, is full of moral wrongdoings and unfair treatment toward the already broken black community of Monroville, Alabama. The majority of the ill treatment is overlooked by the whites of the small, southern town. Atticus Finch, the father of Scout and Jem Finch, and the lawyer appointed to Tom Robinson, is a morally sound man who tries to instill his beliefs in his young children. According to Atticus it is wrong to kick a man while is he is down, or knowingly take advantage of someone. He reinforces this belief by saying “The one place a man ought to get a square deal is when is in the court room, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have ways of carrying the resentments right into a jury box.” He continues by explaining to his children that “You’ll see white men cheat black men everyday of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t forget it-whenever a white man does a black man wrong, that white man is trash Because of racial inequality Tom Robinson was never guaranteed a fair trial.
During the early 20th century African Americans were not given a fair chance in any aspect of life. Unfortunately, things were no different in the court room, a place where according to Atticus “every man should get a fair chance.” Although much of “To Kill a Mockingbird” is fiction, the unfair trial given to Tom Robinson had been seen many times before in the south. In 1931 nine black youths were indicted at Scottsboro, Ala., on charges of having raped two white women in a freight car passing through Alabama. In a series of trials the youths were found guilty and sentenced to death or to prison terms of 75 to 99 years. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed convictions twice on procedural grounds and unlike Tom Robinson, were eventually set free after serving extensive prison sentences. The men in both cases were thought to be guilty simply because they were black. Mayella Ewell was Bob Ewell’s abused, lonely and...