The Caste System In To Kill A

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The Caste System In To Kill A Mockingbird Essay, Research Paper Imagine a time and place where no one is equal. Colored people have to drink from different water fountains; those who were poorer are not allowed to be involved with those who were wealthier than them. As a matter of fact, if one was different, they are shunned by society. In a perfect world, people would rejoice in each one another?s happiness, but this isn?t a perfect world; nor was it in the 1930?s. The Southern states were an area of ?archaic, imported romanticism? (Erisman, p.1). People of the south disliked anyone who was different from them. Even people of the same race or caste often disliked one another. There was fighting between races. Some white groups had hatred for other white group that may be

mediocre or inferior to them, as did the blacks. Those who fitted the ?dominant race?(Bloom, p.xii) were depicted as the whites. Inconsequently, ?the whites? ?clearly expect deferential behavior of the blacks?? (Erisman, p.2). The colored men were also treated much more harshly and cruelly. In prayer and church, the ?Negroes worshiped in it on Sundays and white men gambled in it on weekdays.? (Lee, p.118) The one single document that some believed was the cause of all of these prejudices was known as the Emancipation Proclamation. On January 1, 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued the document referred to as the Emancipation Proclamation, ordering that all slaves be freed. The Proclamation ?marked a radical departure in policy, but reflected the overwhelming public

sentiment in the North.?(Emancipation Proclamation, Encarta) About 3 million people were freed by the terms of the document, which is regarded as one of the most important state documents of the United States. Another prejudice of the 1930?s in the south was the hate group known as the Ku Klux Klan. The Ku Klux Klan is secret terrorist organization that originated in the southern states during the period of Reconstruction following the American Civil War and was reactivated on a wider geographic basis in the 20th century. The original Klan was organized in Pulaski, Tennessee, on December 24, 1865, by six former Confederate army officers who gave their society a name adapted from the Greek word kuklos, which means circle. Although the Ku Klux Klan began as a prankish social

organization, its activities soon were directed against the Republican. Their main targets were blacks, Jews and other minority groups. While all of this chaos was going on, one woman stood in the middle of it. Her name was Harper Lee. She is best known for her prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird. People come into this world pure, the surrounding environment and society effects who and what they become. The area that Nelle Harper Lee was brought into was an area of mass prejudice. This shaped the way that she lived. Being born to Amasa Coleman and Frances Finch Lee, she was brought up in surroundings that were filled with hatred and dislike. These racial differences would be soon influencing the writing of To Kill a Mockingbird. When Lee was 5, racial incidents were

commonplace; an example of this is the Scottsboro Incident. This began in 1931 and lasted for the next 20 years. This incident would eventually manipulate Lee?s concept of Tom Robinson?s trial; where a black man was clearly innocent, but because of the prejudice in the area he was guilty due to his race. During her years of education in Huntingdon College, she edited many different magazines and books. One of which was a comic or a ?humor magazine? (Johnson, p.xi) called ?Rammer-Jammer.? This particular comic was about a ?southern politician who proclaims that ?our very lives are being threatened by the hordes of evildoers full of sin? SIN, my friends? who want to tear down all barriers of an kind between ourselves and our colored friends?.?(Johnson, p.xii) This comic was one of