The book is set in the year 1933 in a small town called Maycomb, Alabama. In 1933 slavery is no longer legal but racism is common among people. At this time in the south the town is divided by race. This is portrayed in the town by different churches, schools, and communities. The theme of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is how racial prejudice hurts people, which are illustrated by Bob Ewell, the lynch mob, and Lula. One example of racism in To Kill a Mockingbird is Bob Ewell.
Bob see’s Mayella and Tom Robinson through a window and is very mad. He’s not only mad because his oldest daughter is with someone in his kitchen, it’s because she was with a black man in his kitchen. Bob Ewell has no problem lying in court and making Mayella lie in court. Instead of telling the truth by saying he beat Mayella for letting a black man into his house, he makes up a whole story about what happened that day because he is racist.
He even expresses his racism in court in front of the jury, judge, and audience.When testifying at the witness stand he says,” I seen that black negro yonder ruttin’ on my Mayella! ”(Lee 173). Bob Ewell doesn’t hold back his racial prejudice for the courtroom. When Mayella is in the kitchen with Tom Robinson, Bob Ewell gets very angry. His character represents how some people in Maycomb just have a problem interacting with other races.
Bob Ewell is a racist man. Another example of racism in To Kill a Mockingbird is the mob that comes to lynch Tom Robinson. To lynch somebody means to hang them without police involved or a legal process used.The mob is made up of citizens of Maycomb who want to take the law into their own hands. They feel that a trial is not necessary and that Tom Robinson should be killed no matter what actually happened because he is black. They think that an accusation from one of the most selfish, uneducated, racist families in Maycomb is enough to have a black man killed. This mob represents the majority of the townsfolk. These people like Mr. Cunningham are average Maycomb citizens. They are extremely racist and won’t even think twice about lynching an accused man like Tom Robinson.When they try to lynch Tom while he’s in prison, Atticus defends him. ” He in there Mr. Finch? ’ a man said. ‘He is,’ we heard Atticus answer,’ and he’s asleep, don’t wake him up. ’ ‘You know what we want, another man said, ‘get aside from the door Mr. Finch. ’ ‘You can turn around and go home again, Walter” (Lee 151). This quote shows that the mob is clearly going to lynch Tom Robinson because he is a black man accused of rape. The mob went after Tom Robinson only because he is black, therefore, shows the racism in the book. Racism is present in most of the townsfolk.Another example of racism in To Kill a Mockingbird is Lula. Calpurnia takes Jem and Scout to her church because the kids aren’t responsible to go by themselves to their church. When she brings the kids there, they are the only white people at the church. She is confronted by another member of the church, Lula. ” She spoke quietly, contemptuously. ’ I wants to know why you brinin’ white chillun to a negro church. ’ ‘Theys my comp’ny. ’ Said Calpurnia. Lula said,’ you ain’t got no business bringin’ white chillun here-they got their church, we got our’n.It is our church, ain’t it Miss Cal? ‘It’s the same God ain’t it? ’ (Lee 119). This represents the racism directed toward white people. This also shows that Calpurnia doesn’t have any racial prejudice and that she wants equality between people. By defending Jem and Scout and standing up to the racism, Calpurnia is able to use God to show people that racism is bad no matter who it is directed towards. This quote shows that racism in the book is not only directed towards black people. This scene shows that sometimes black people can be racist towards white people.Racsim in the book can be directed towards anybody. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee has many themes, but the main one is how racism puts people down which is portrayed by Lee through Bob Ewell, the lynch mob, and Lula. The reader learns that that U. S. history has a lot of racial prejudice. Also, that almost everybody in the south is racist and that few people stood up to it. The reader also learns that racism was a very common excuse for killing people. The reader also learns that prejudice can be directed towards any race, religion, or group of people.