Essay Sample on Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird


The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel ” to kill a mockingbird” has been banned and challenged in many schools in America over the 20th and 21st century, partly due to its vulgar language.  

Although To Kill a Mockingbird tries to educate about the historical importance of racism it should not be taught in American schools because the book gives a false picture of racism in 1930 and promotes white saviorism while generalizing the black characters of the novel. 

W.E.B Dubois coined the phrase,, double consciousness`` in an 1897 issue of The Atlantic Monthly. It is a concept in social philosophy referring, originally, to a source of inward “twoness” experienced by African-Americans due to their racialized oppression and devaluation in a white-dominated society. He argued that there are two competing identities as a black American, seeing oneself as an American and seeing oneself as a black person living in white-centric America. Dubois further points out that black people always had to,, look at one’s selves through the eyes of others``. This can be related to,, To kill a mockingbird``, since the novel only gives voices to the collective, for example, Alexandra Hancock (née Finch or Bob Ewel, both are only side-characters and had more appearances in the novel that Tomas Robinson, although to kill mockingbird focuses on his trial. It also has to be considered that reading to kill a mockingbird, which excessively uses the n-word, does not benefit black students who already experience racism in every aspect of their life. Therefore, the novel cannot continue to be taught as if every person in the classroom is white.

To kill a mockingbird is downplaying racism while promoting white innocent and the white saviour complex. This can be seen through Atticus Finch. He is a well-educated man who tried to help an innocent black man named Tom Robinson.  The character of Atticus Finch shows heroism and challenges the injustice that is prevalent throughout Maycomb, mainly by electing to defend Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. He is seen by many Americans as a moral hero. This can be seen in a speech of former President Obama in the year 2017. In the speech, he quotes Atticus directly which is followed by cheering of the audience and many posts on social media saying that Atticus is a hero. The White saviour complex is when white people want to self-manage in saving blacks from an emergency, and it is insinuated that black people are unable to help themselves. This can be seen when every black person in the courtroom stood up for Atticus(the hero) because he tried to help tom Robison

However, Atticus often gets praised for doing the bare minimum such as not saying the n-word with the hard-er or just as simple as doing his job, by defending Tom Robinson. Although he did not exactly choose to represent Tom Robinson, he was appointed to do so. Additionally, he denied his children to use the N-word because it was "common" and therefore unfitting of their social class not because it was a racist slur against black people.

On the contrary, is Bob Ewell who is depicted as an aggressive alcoholic. He represents the lower-income and class of the population. Bob Ewell was one of the only people who used derogatory language against black people. This implies that racism in 1930 only existed from the lower-class. White Americans still had a better life than the minorities even though the depression greatly affected them as well. While white people had to deal with the great depression, black people were challenged with fighting for basic human rights. For example, while white kids could enjoy their time in the Carnaval, black people would see a modified version of the game Hit the n*** Baby. The purpose of the game was to hit a targeted black person with one of your three throws-and win a prize. In the following game ,,dunk the African dips´´ people could throw balls at a target which would release a black man in a dunk tank. This game was played up till 1950. 

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