"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee: Show understanding of extended written texts

Essay by applejuiceHigh School, 11th grade November 2006

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".....remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." This is said by Atticus in the book "To Kill a Mockingbird", and is a metaphor about Tom Robinson. Atticus takes up a difficult court case where Tom Robinson, a black man, is being falsely accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell. The book is set in the 1930's, when racism was accepted. The town is racist against blacks, and a white person's word was always believed over a black person, no matter what the evidence. Atticus takes up the case because he knows that it is just. This is what helps me understand the idea, "... it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." Tom resembles a mockingbird that is innocent and never does anybody any harm. Tom also is innocent and never did anybody any harm.

Atticus takes up the case knowing that he can not win, but hoping to make the jury realize that they are racist and that racism is wrong.

Atticus stands up for Tom because he thinks that "simply because we're licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win." This shows that he has a lot of courage because he will get abused by town people who don't like that he "aims to defend him".

Atticus is challenged by the court case when he gets threatened by Bob Ewell, and also by a mob of angry town folk. He wants the jury to find Tom innocent, but he knows that will not happen because of their racism. Atticus still goes through with the case because he knows that it is right. "I couldn't go to church and worship God, if I didn't try to help that man." This shows that he has courage. This...