Homework Help

Describe the role racism plays in the community of Maycomb in Harper Lee's To Kill a...

user profile pic

ilovesortsand... | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 28, 2012 at 4:39 PM via web

dislike 1 like
Describe the role racism plays in the community of Maycomb in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

Ok i have to write a letter to the editor (or Mr. Underwood) describing racism in maycomb and how to solve the problem. Also i have to write it as if i was Atticus. Any ideas will help because i'm not sure how to write it as if I were Atticus. Thank you.

5 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted May 28, 2012 at 6:17 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

Start out by thinking about the type of person Atticus was.  He was a lawyer, kind, and usually calm.  His letter would likely be well written with a careful eye toward word choice.  He certainly wouldn't use any abrasive language or hateful rhetoric to prove his point.  Atticus usually makes a point by remaining calm and rational.  He would probably give examples of specific points of racism in Maycomb.  He might also talk about his own experiences with racism, like the neighbors' reactions to Calpurnia's influence on his home and his children or his involvement in the trial of Tom Robinson.  Atticus would probably offer evidence of how the color people of Maycomb were no different.  Just remember that Atticus is a lawyer and likely to stick with a calm dissemination of the facts and your letter should turn out fine.

user profile pic

ilovesortsandbooks | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

wow thank you so much that helps a lot now i just hope that i can keep it short enough so it doesnt go beyond one page... lol

user profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted May 28, 2012 at 9:04 PM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like

I imagine that Atticus would raise the sorts of points that he does when education Scout and Jem. The idea of walking around in someone's skin would be raised, and possibly his experiences of prejudice as Tom Robinson's lawyer.

user profile pic

mwalter822 | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted May 30, 2012 at 2:11 AM (Answer #5)

dislike 0 like

Atticus does a good job of putting himself in another person's place and trying to see things through their eyes. He also uses logic and reason to discuss issues, rather than letting emotions control his thinking. A letter from him would empathize with others' points of view, while using reason to show where they might be mistaken.

user profile pic

litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 31, 2012 at 8:29 PM (Answer #6)

dislike 0 like

One metaphor for racism we find in the novel is the rabid dog.  People often find metaphors easier to confront than ideas.  You could compare racism to the rabid dog, and explain the damage each one does.  Of course, Atticus is the one who shot the dog.  He is also responsible for defending the town against racism.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes