The Negro Problem


“Camellias cannot be destroyed by simply breaking off their tops. They must be dug out at the roots. By the same token, the prejudice that exists in Maycomb cannot just be rubbed off at the surface. Its roots are deeply ingrained in the minds and hearts of the people.”





To Kill a Mocking Bird written my Harper Lee in 1960 however it was set in the 1930’s. It is a narrative of a \'the ‘tired old town” Maycomb. Maycomb was a very prejudice town and To Kill a Mocking Bird is the story of a Negro on trail for a crime, which he obviously did not commit, however he is still found guilty because “in the secret courts of mans hearts, he had no case”. Miss lee’s purpose for writing this novel is to show how deeply the prejudice is embedded in the hearts the people. And it is evident that when Tom Robinson goes on trail it is really Maycomb that goes into the dock.


Tom Robinson is a “quite and considerate Negro who went out of his way to be kind and helpful to some poor white trash”. He is a withstanding citizen of Maycomb and he used to help a poor white girl, Mayella Ewell with her takes around the house.


Mayella Ewell was part of The Ewell family. The Ewells were the “disgrace of Maycomb for three generations” who lived behind the town dump. Their house had “no windows, just holes that were covered with cheese paper in the summer to keep the varmints out”. Her Father Bob Ewell is father and he is reason she has not lead a normal life. Bob Ewell is “ignorant, slovenly, and totally unwilling to take any steps to improve himself. His hatred of Negro is greater that anyone in Maycomb because he knows he is inferior by any rational standard of comparison.”


Burris Ewell introduces us to the Maycomb family. He is rude and a complete savage. He reduces Miss Caroline to tears. However not all of the Maycomb Children are that rude. Scout Finch, the narrator for Miss Lee’s novel is part of the finch family. All of the activities and opinions are expressed through the eyes of a child, which allows the readers to make there own minds about each event. However unfortunately because she has to comment on such important issues she speaks with a unrealistic maturity” I quoted a book Atticus a given me to read, equality for all, special privileges for none”





Her father Atticus finch is the man who represents Tom Robinson in the case and he is “one of the few people of the town who understands the individual worth of a person regardless of the colour of his skin. He is able to defend Tom Robinson solely on the basis of justice and does not allow the colour of Toms skin to prejudice him against Toms case.” He is a total gentleman He functions as the moral backbone of Maycomb, a person to whom others turn in times of doubt and trouble. And although “he was licked a hundred years before he began” is no reason to give up. He is perfectly aware that Tom Robinson will be found guilty no matter how obvious it is that he is innocent however, he was not the jury to understand that they are sending a completely innocent man to jail. Atticus is an excellent father and treats his children as adults rather than children.


The adults in Maycomb however are the childish ones. They have unbelievable prejudice. Aunt Alexandra is a perfect example of this. She is Atticus’ sister and represents the traditional values of the south. “ Home, family, heredity, gentility and white supremacy”. She moves in with Atticus during the case. She moves in and “fits into Maycomb like a glove” she joins a group of women that are part of a church group, and this is where the reader is introduced to the ignorance of the townsfolk’s prejudice. The Maycomb towns folk were so much more sympathetic towards people they didn’t have to deal with such as the poor Marun’s and Miss Gates Perfectly represents this when talking about Hitler she said it “wasn’t right to persecute