Racism In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

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Pages: 4

Since the end of the American Civil War to the mid-20th century, racial segregation was common in the United States. In the south, racial segregation was enforced by a set of rules called the Jim Crow Laws, which also limited the participation of African-American people in the society. These laws separated African-Americans and Caucasians, each race with separate public facilities. The Caucasians were the dominant race when these laws were enacted. To Kill a Mockingbird was written during this time. The story itself was set during the same time and took place in Alabama, a state known for racism with strong Jim Crow Laws. Therefore, the characters in the story were affected by the laws. Races structure the relationship of the characters in …show more content…
In the times the Jim Crow Laws were enacted, people viewed African-Americans as poor and inferior. This was mainly because the African-Americans could not get a good occupation like the Caucasians. This is proven by Calpurnia’s occupation in the story as a servant to a Caucasian family. Another person named Zeebo who appears later in chapter 12 also had a bad occupation as a garbage collector. The poorness of the African-Americans is also shown when it is explained that the “colored church” did not have hymnals and was unpainted. Atticus also had his social status affected when he defended Tom Robinson. He along with his family were mocked by the people of Maycomb. Schoolmates and even family members mocked them. Mrs. Dubose said in chapter 11, “Your father’s no better than the niggers and trash he works for” (Lee). This shows that races did not only affect the social status of African-Americans but also of the Caucasians who supported and defended African-Americans.
To Kill a Mockingbird was written during the time when racial segregation was common. The enactment of Jim Crow Laws that enforced this made it even harder for African-Americans to live. Harper Lee made references in the story to real-life happenings at that time. As a result, the story is set during the time racial segregation was common. The story’s location was also set in Alabama which was known for racism. And