The Black Community in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee August 24, 2009Posted by KJ theBookGirl in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Tags: Analysis, Atticus, bestseller, Blurb, book, books, Calpurnia, characters, English Literature, GCSE, Harper Lee, KJ, Novel, Plot, Racism, the black community, theBookGirl, TKAMB, To Kill a Mockingbird
The black community are a major part of the novel, although only on the surface a small part of Scout’s world.
We are primarily introduced to the black community through Cal, who is a servant as most of the black community within the white society are in To Kill a Mockingbird. This sets up an image of servitude and inferiority, which Atticus fights hard against, in order for Jem and Scout to see that no matter what skin colour, all humans are equal. Of course, Atticus is successful in this, even if he does have to teach Scout why certain phrases are offensive – she doesn’t realise they are due to the general discrimination the white society has against the black society without a second thought.
The other major character we wee which represents the black community is Tom Robinson. He is a clearly innocent family man, accused of the rape of a “white trash” girl, and thus found guilty.
From the novel almost every member of the black community is admirable in their personalities and innocent in their nature, and this generalisation makes the crimes against the black community all the worse.
Chapter 12 gives the reader the widest view of the black community as it is based their church. This is where the reader realises just how badly the community is treated. The church is used as a location for gambling by white men, which is clearly disrespectful. Only four of the congregation can read. Lula is very offensive to the children, as a defence of the way the black people are treated by white.
These are all examples of how the black community is affected by the white community.
The black community as a whole is a very close congregation, as it has to be to survive the harsh treatment by the white community. The church means that the people are protected – for example the way Zeebo, the minister, forces the people to give donations to Tom Robinson’s wife in order to allow her to survive whilst Tom is in jail.
The community is also very religious, the church being the only one with a steeple in Maycomb. All the members of the community dress smartly and attend church and this thickens the support group.
Together they can silently fight the discrimination with each other’s support and the understanding of people like Atticus.
As a whole the black community are a mockingbird within the story – they are innocent and law abiding, helping the white community, yet the white community “shoot” them by treating them so badly.
This means the people who respect the black community, earn much respect in return, such as Atticus, who the black community stand for in gratitude for defending Tom and honour for being such a great man.