Characters that display racism:

  • Mrs Dubose
  • The Sheriff
  • Aunt Alexandra
  • Cousin Francis
  • The Ewells
  • Mr Cunningham
  • The preponderance of Maycomb society 

Other ways racism is portrayed

  • Jury's verdict
  • Instituational racism and segregation of the court room
  • Day of the trial 

Mrs Dubose:

Chapter 11: pg 105-118

'Your father's no better than the ******* and trash he works for' 

  • Frightens kids with unkind remarks
  • Shows how a racist mindset is especially enforced within the older generation
  • Atticus tries to cool the children's indignation at hearing their father being called names
  • Such language reflects badly on the person using it, rather that the person it is directed at which is difficult for the kids to learn

The Sheriff:

'he hadn't the heart to put him in the jail along side Negroes'

  • After Boo suspected of stabbing rather with a pair of scissors
  • Institutional racism
  • Displays how even the law can have an element of racism in it

Aunt Alexandra:

pg 132

'Put my bag in the front bedroom Calpurnia' was the first thing Aunt Alexandra said 

  • Imperitives are used

pg 142

'You've got to face it sooner of later and it might as well be tonight. We dont need her now' 

  • Pursasive language 
  • Overall, Aunt Alexandra appears to be conforming to the racist idologies of Maycomb society 
  • She is presented as bossy and controlling of Calpurnia when she first arrives
  • She is a domeneering character
  • She treats Cal like a servant and dismisses her as anything other than this 
  • She is enforcing her ideals on the children which stem from the racist attitudes of society at this time
  • Lee delibrerately uses this racist remark to introudce Alexandra into the household in order to forershadow how she will attempt to implament this mindset on Jem and Scout 
  • She is at odds with Atticus about the type of things he is teaching the children
  • Scout never understands her Aunt's preoccupation with family
  • However, she mellows after the trial when she sees what a straub the events are placing on her brother
  • Scout increases her respect for her as a result of this
  • How quick Aunt Alexandra is to enforce her own ideals in her brother's household
  • Demonstartes extent of prejudice and intolerance
  • Scout's reaction to aunt Alexandra doing this emphasises her youth and loyalty
  • Les's tone in the chpter gently ridicules and mocks Alex's attitudes
  • Maycomb societal views championed by Alex - caste systemAtticus values Calpurnia as an individual, not as a black person. The word 'tried' evidences Calpurnia's effort in bringing the children up the right way. 

Cousin Francis:

pg 89 

'I guess it aint your fault if Uncle Atticus is a ******-lover besides, but I'm here to tell you it certainly does mortify the rest of the family' 

At a safe distance he called 'He's nothing but a ******-lover!' 

  • The use of the derrogratory term '******' in a young child's voacbulary highlights the extent of prejudice within society
  • Pseudohistorical nature of the novel
  • Probably doesn't fully understand the horror of the word


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