Harper Lee's message on discrimination from the novel To Kill a Mockingbirdi need help. i have to wrtie a essay examing Harper lee's massage about discrimnation please need

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e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Judging without a full knowledge of the facts of character or situation is folly. This is a definite theme in the text, relating to examples from Boo Radley and Atticus Finch to Tom Robinson and Mrs. Dubose. This idea is not restricted to race and not especially aligned with ideas of race. 

The Cunninghams prove this point.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As #5 points out, there is a sense in which this excellent novel holds us up a mirror and asks us to look at ourselves in it to assess our own beliefs about discrimination and racism. Clearly, the novel argues for equality and deplores the way in which Tom is treated. Atticus is the hero of the piece for standing up for his belief in equality even when it puts both himself and his family in danger. However, discrimination is presented as something that is not just going to vanish and will continue to need to be challenged through brave characters such as Atticus. Are we as readers able to take on the challenge?

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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We are also invited to question our own views and discriminatory attitudes beyond those associated with race. We need to question our reaction to Bob Ewell's death and the decision that Heck Tate takes not to investigate it, but to be content that Bob 'fell on his knife'. With our reaction to the injustice of Tom's trial, should we not have a similar reaction to the denial of a real investigation into Bob Ewell's death, or is his 'sort' not worthy of justice? I think weare left with this subtle message by Harper Lee.

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The strongest message that Nell Harper Lee is sending out to the readers in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird comes straight out of Atticus's character: His dedication to the cause of Tom Robinson knows no obstacle. He, a white man who is known for his intelligence and breeding, is willing to stand before the most difficult jury to defend a black man. This jury is not the one that which will decide the fate of Robinson: The harshest jury for Atticus Finch is the town of Macomb, as a whole. Still, Atticus is relentless and does not give up. This is a clear message to both Macomb, and a world of readers who have experienced the type of pressure that Atticus feels in the story.

Therefore, aside from racial justice, Lee's message is basically that, once one is touched by the fates to defend the rights of a fellow human being, it is our responsibility out of morality, humanity, and righteousness to go until the end in the name of justice.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Atticus makes his thoughts clear throughout the book. Despite the general racist attitudes in the town, he defends Tom because he believes Tom innocent and deserves justice. Atticus teaches his children that the worst thing a white person can do is to take advantage of a black man, and he discourages Scout from using the "N" word. But, Atticus realizes things will not change in Maycomb overnight, or even during his lifetime. He only hopes that Tom's trial will be a start, "the shadow of a beginning."

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Clearly, Lee is arguing against discrimination in this book.  She thinks it is wrong to discriminate against black people.  She thinks that it is wrong to discriminate against poor people like the Cunninghams or even the Ewells.  She thinks it is wrong to think that you are better than other people based on your blood (the way that Aunt Alexandra does).  She is trying to send the message that all people are truly the same and should all be treated with respect.

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qudsiasrk | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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thanks you soo much everyone for all you help . it was really helpfull thakns alot

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