Part I- Research
There are many stereotypes given to all kinds of races. Blacks are constantly targeted and judged on just what one expects of who they are. “Negroes (“Niggers”) are said to be stupid, promiscuous, and happy.” (Lhamon). Not all racial stereotypes are negative. Even when they are positive, however, it leads to expectations that the targeted person may not be able to live up to. It can put a lot of social pressure upon a person who is expected to be able to pursue the stereotype. Of course some people live up to a stereotype, but then again there are plenty people of other races that follow the stereotypes of blacks, proving that stereotypes are not true. Stereotyping causes people to react quickly in situations because of the races if the people in those situations. It causes people to do less processing or and judging of someone when you meet them because when you see the race they are, you already develop some kind of judgment on them, not depending at all on who they are. Thus it causes a simplification in our society. “One disadvantage is that it makes us ignore differences between individuals; therefore we think things about people that might not be true.” (McLeod). Another assumption is that if one does not live up to the positive stereotype, they will automatically live up to the bad stereotype. Some negative stereotypes in the 1930’s were that blacks were immature, stupid, drug addicts, noisy, poor, passive, incompetent, untrustworthy, promiscuous, thugs, bitches, and ho’s. “For Black Americans, beliefs that they are dishonest, prone to steal, promiscuous, and violent are not new portraits. They date from the time of slavery.” (“Retire the Chief”) Most stereotypes that occur on humans are simply coincidental and no one group of people is all the same as the stereotypes suggested.
Part II- Lee shows the racial stereotypes of the 1930s in “To Kill A Mockingbird” to prove that all people are good by the way the characters act towards blacks, Jem’s realization of how people truly are in Maycomb, and Tom Robinson’s case.
Part III- Connections to Author’s Purpose Harper Lee proves that all people are good by showing the racial stereotypes in the 1930s by the characterization or Boo Radley. Boo Radley was a man that has had many fictional gossips made about him; games, stories, and false accusations. Everyone always thought of him as a monster that ate squirrels and stabbed many people with scissors. In the end, he was discovered as a kind person when he saved Jem’s life by killing Bob Ewell and carrying him home. Also, he put the blanket on Scout when there was a fire and she stood in the cold, foreshadowing that Boo was a kind man. Stereotypes often make people believe things about others before they even know them, which is how Boo was judged. He was thought of falsely before he was known to anyone. “One disadvantage is that it makes us ignore differences between individuals; therefore we think things about people that might not be true.” (McLeod). This proves that all people are good because someone who was assumed to be a scary criminal was actually a genuinely nice person with generous intentions that saved people’s lives. Who’s to say that all people who are assumed to be bad are actually kind, just as Boo Radley was? Lee proves her purpose in other ways too. Lee proves all people are good by showing racial stereotypes in the 1930s with the Tom Robinson case. Atticus is given the Tom Robinson case in which he must defend a black man, which most people in town viewed as awful because of all the stereotypes in the 1930s that so many people believed to be true. Many of the people in Maycomb thought that Atticus and the Finches were terrible for taking on such a case. Specifically, Mrs. Dubose, a morphine addict that the Finches knew, hated that Atticus was defending a Negro, “Your father’s no better than the…