To Kill A Mockingbird
To Kill A Mocking Bird, a term one uses to describe many things, such as a
defining moment or an object such as a book. When used in this context, such as
describing a book, it persuades the reader to examine the novel further to
discover what makes this piece of literature so memorable to people who have
read it. One such novel is Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. One may describe
this novel as a classic because the messages described in the novel can be
perceived on so many different levels that any reader, no matter the level, can
observe these messages. The prime messages observed in this novel is that of
racism, how the actions of a community, not just a parent, can affect a child,
and how rumors and invalidated facts can destroy anyone's reputation. Racism is
mentioned throughout the second part of the novel. It is the prime and most
mentioned part of this section of the novel. This message is displayed on many
levels so even the lowest level reader can visibly ask oneself why this is
occurring. The easiest way to observe this may be the town's actions toward Tom

Robinson, the "negro" on trial. The townspeople, for the most part,
dismissed the entire trial on the basis on that it does not matter what Atticus
can do, Mr. Robinson is automatically guilty. This message can also be seen in a
severely symbolic manner, Tom Robinson's death. The manner in which he dies is
that he escapes and attempts to climb the fence to freedom, however he only has
one good arm and that is his detriment. It slows him up enough to allow the
police to shoot him numerous times. Symbolically this can be viewed as a glimmer
of hope to end this suppression. As this glimmer of hope is about to reach the
mainstream and acceptance that racism is evil, it is shot down and dead, thus
ending the opportunity. Mr. Robinson got into this position by the jury giving
in a guilty verdict, despite numerous evidence to the contrary. The jury gave a
racist verdict, showing Harper Lee's opinion of the evil a racist society can do
to a minority. This verdict had repercussions not just to Mr. Robinson, but to
the community. One can observe that this verdict influenced the town in a manner
no one expected, it twisted the minds of many children. A popular saying is that
"the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray," this is what
began to happen to the children of the town, best viewed when observing the

Finch children. Despite Atticus' "plans" to raise children who do not
have this type of hate within them, they have these feelings due to some
community actions, Atticus' plan "going astray." A prime example is

Scout's answer to the question of the manner in which the prosecuting attorney
addressed Mr. Robinson during his cross examination. Her answer was that he
could do that because "...he's just a negro."(p. 199) This issue is
not just the white community pressing an idea into someone's head. It can also
happen in the black community. When Atticus Finch asks Calpurnia, his
housekeeper, to watch his children for him while he is out, Calpurnia accepts
and takes the children with her to church, a black church. When she arrives with
the children they are all greeted with hospitality except for a few people.

These people use the same argument as in the last example as to why they should
not be there, because they are white. What both races have done is shun the
other race, now what happens if a child is born with blood from both races. What
happens is an isolated race that is exiled from both races because that child
has blood from the other race. This evil act can be seen in the novel. The
county practically exiles the children of Dolphus Raymond and his black spouse.

It is done to the point that these children are forced to live in the non-racist
north where they would not be looked down on as genetic freaks. After reading
this, one would wonder of the community's reaction to Dolphus Raymond, whose
committing a great sin by having children with a black woman. Well, the town
does not look down on him, the town actually feels sorry for him. Why, because
the town does not know the real story, they base their feelings on
unsubstantiated rumors. Rumors, no matter how false, can destroy an