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Research paper topic: To Kill A Mockingbird - 1234 words
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To Kill A Mockingbird To Kill A Mockingbird is a perfect example of an unsubstantiated judgment or an opinion about an individual. The prime message in the novel is that of racism, how the actions of a community, not just a parent, can affect a child. Born, Nelle Harper Lee in 1926, Monroeville, Alabama. She attended school at three different colleges where she studied law, Huntington College from 1944-1945, University of Alabama from 1945- 1949, and studied one year at Oxford University. The study of law and its principles helped her develop the way she was brought up.
Her upbringing gave her raw material to write her only book. She was the youngest of four kids. When she started off in the real world she worked as a reservation clerk with Eastern Airlines and BOAC in New York City. To concentrate on her writing she quit working as an airline clerk. In 1957 she submitted the manuscript of her book to the J.
B. Lippincott Company. She was told that her novel consisted of a series of short stories strung together. She was urged to rewrite it. For the next two and a half-year she reworked the manuscript with the help of her editor, Tay Hohoff, and in 1960 To Kill A Mockingbird was published.
Harper Lee only wrote one book so far, and critics are waiting for her next book. There have not been as much published on the doings of Lee since 1966. Prejudice, strictly defined, a preformed and unsubstantiated judgment or opinion about an individual or a group, either favorable or unfavorable in nature. In modern usage, however, the term most often denotes an unfavorable or hostile attitude toward other people based on their membership in another social or ethnic group. The distinguishing characteristic of a prejudice is that it relies on stereotypes (oversimplified generalizations) about the group against which the prejudice is directed.
Examples of prejudice abound in history. In most cases, a prejudiced attitude held by a dominant ethnic group against a minority or disadvantaged group within the same society. The most elaborate kind of discrimination is segregationthe isolation of ethnic groups enforced by law or custom or both. Examples of segregation include the strict confinement of Jews to the ghettos of medieval European cities and the rigid race-separation laws of modern-day South Africa, but segregation can also apply to the exclusion of a member of a minority group from social clubs or from access to particular jobs or educational opportunities. The mixing of ethnic groups might be expected to lead to the rapid disappearance of prejudice, on the theory that prolonged contact between people should destroy stereotypes. In practice, however, prejudiced attitudes often have proved extremely difficult to eradicate, even when law enforces integration.
Racism today is not as strong as it was 20 years ago. There was a time where African Americans could not even drink out of the same drinking fountain as the "white" people. It is true the today racism is not as bad of an issue, but no matter who denies racism, it is still a major part of the society. Not long ago in Daytona Beach Florida, there was a trial of prejudice. The major hotel chain, The Adams Mark was charged with prejudice towards African Americans.
The Adams Mark charged double for room service, made the black guests of the hotel where wrist bands, would not allow their cars in parking garages, and most important treated them as animals. This is only one situation of prejudice that goes on this day is age, everyday someone or something is hurt with prejudice. Not only is prejudice in hotels, but it is on the street, in the schools, and in the homes of many people today. Still today there are racial fights that break out. In the schools, there are very few black children that attend public schools.
In the homes of many Americans, the issue of African Americans is a daily situation. In the book "To Kill A Mockingbird", prejudice is an overall issue. Prejudice runs wild in Maycomb County. The town has prejudice against blacks. This is seen in the case against Tom Robinson. Robinson is wrongly accused, and loses his life due to racism in the community. Even though it is obvious, to every person in the jury, that Robinson could not have committed the crime, and that he is an upright and religious churchgoing man, he is still accused of rape and jailed.
It is obvious that he is innocent through evidence presented by Atticus, Bob Ewell is left-handed, Toms left hand is useless, etc. But since the jury "cannot" find a black man innocent over a white family they find him guilty. Prejudice against Boo Radley. No one bothers to find out about the Arthur "boo" Radley. He may seem a little scary but the town ridicules him and shuns him from society.
All the children have been raised to dear him as the town freak. If they took the time to see the world from his eyes they might not be so prejudiced to his situation. Jem and Scouts experiences with Boo Radley allowed them to learn and accept those who are different from them. As a result of being called the town freak, the children are serious to learn more about him. Boo Radley came to their aid when Scout and Jem are attacked by Bob Ewell, showing that the rumors about Boo Radley were untrue.
They gain a new respect for him, and learn to accept him though he may be a little different from them. Prejudice is every where. From hotels across the world, to little houses in Maycomb, Alabama, it is there. Wherever you turn, you better watch your back because it is going to be standing right there, and you just have to fight it off. While many people raved about this book there were still many different views. Granville Hicks, " To Kill a Mockingbird gives a friendly but for the most part unsentimental account of life in Alabama, Lee is not concerned about writing a childhood experience she is more concerned about the perennial Southern problem.
Lees problem is to tell a story how she wants to, but has to remember she is writing a childhood experience." Meanwhile the book was raved apone by many other people. New York Times, " Marvelous.. Miss Lees original characters are people to cherish in this winning first novel." The New Yorker, " Skilled, unpretentious and totally ingenuous..though, melodramatic, acute, funny." Boston Herald, " Has pace and power..overflowing with life." To Kill A Mockingbird was a very sophisticated book, and had many themes in it which some kids might not understand, yet at the same time this was not a children's book, it is a novel for young adults to read. While you can understand that some people might not like this book, personally, I liked it. It was an unforgettable novel. In conclusion, Harper Lee did a wonderful job writing her book. It is filled with useful information, and many themes.
Prejudice is a very serious issue that needs to be stopped, or it will just keep growing and never get better. Bibliography Contemporary Literary Criticism. To Kill A Mockingbird. Vol. 12. Detroit, Michigan,1980.
Contemporary Literary Criticism. To Kill A Mockingbird. Vol. 60. Detroit, Michigan,1980. " To Kill A Mockingbird" 4- 21 2000. www.bellmore-merrick.k12.us/mockingbird.html " To Kill A Mockingbird" 4-23 2000. www.bookmagazine.com.
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