The story To Kill A Mocking Bird has a plot set around the 1950’s in a small southern town. In this certain era people did not have any declared respect for African Americans. This race was highly frowned upon and shunned by society.
The vulgar language used toward and referring to African Americans could be reason enough to make this specific book banned from many schools. At the time the book was set colored people had a very low rank in society and there was no thought of equality among the races. One word in this book showed very little respect toward black people and it is very understandable that they would be objective toward it; this word is Niger. It was obviously a bad thing to be associated with an African American person. When Cecile Jacobs called Atticus a “Niger” lover Scout took it as an insult; and this was a rightful feeling at that time. (chapter nine, pg.75) Although it is a very racist word it would be incorrect and very anachronist to use it in other context making the whites seem less patronizing. This is the way it was in that time frame and it would be wrong to depict it any other way. This specific group might be mad because they don’t think that it is imperative to have this word spoken so easily even considering the circumstances. It is an outrageous insult whether present or past to use the word “Niger” while referring to a black person. It is a time of freedom and maybe these people believe that this is interfering with their strong attempt to ban those memories. It seems as though the book is making this race out to be inept and vacuous even this thought may be completely spurious. Tom Robinson was portrayed to be useless and the only job he could effectively do was fix simple objects. (chapter 19, pg.193)
At this time racist is still felt but not as much as before. The NAACP simply felt that the current youth may not understand the context of the book. Some of the junior high school children might not have the integrity that the teachers have entrusted in them. Various children were not exposed to the idea of colored people being referred to as “Niger” and this might interfere with their lives. This racial slur is rightfully expelled in the common language. Young people might not understand that this book took place before the African American rights took affect. Many people suffered to instill equality. Some of the racial context in this book may have to strong of a meaning for young people to understand. In one case where Tom Robinson is wrongfully accused of rape even though there is evidence to support his innocence. (chapter 21, pg. 207-208) After the trial Tom is shot 17 times while trying to escape from prison. This brought no justice to him nor any one else and this action was unnecessary. (chapter 24, pg. 235) This may trigger in a person’s mind that it is alright that if an action is made the only consequence is death. The main thing is the racial judgment toward African Americans and how they use this specific context.
Some children may not understand the circumstances of the past but I also think that this decision of decided whether or not to banned this book should be decided by the teachers themselves. They know the student’s limits and know the basic background of their families. To Kill A Mockingbird is a controversial book but the main idea of it is racial discrimination. This subject itself helps a person whether to agree with its statements or just to rule them as false. I think that the soul trust of its integrity should lie in the hands of the mentor. They may know the meaning of the book and will most likely explain the time that the book took place and that it was very different then. If they point out how the majority of racial discrimination has changed because of smart devoted people the students are bound to better understand the true meaning of To Kill A Mockingbird. The decision whether to banned this book or not should be up to the teacher. This book should not be banned unless the teacher believes that the students are not ready mentally. I believe it is their decision alone to decide whether it is appropriate or not. This book also contains many inappropriate verses. One example is when Tom Robinson was in court testifying for himself and stated that Robert Ewell harassed his daughter by saying “He says Goddamn whore I’ll kill ya!”. This could possibly offend someone while reading this and someone not acquainted with this word could possibly seek a definition. The parents might disapprove of their son/daughter knowing this word and having them possibly add it to their normal vocabulary.
This book should not be considered “trashy” because this is the way her life was then and it would be lying if she used different words to describe the occurrences. I disagree with that statement because if this book was never published people would not know the circumstances of the past. She told it like it happened and anything else would be artificial. There is nothing that proves that her book is fictitious only that she may have over exaggerated a bit. Her book simply explained the times and told her experiences. There is nothing trashy about a story that tells about her life prior to the African American stand for independence. This is the way it was and if anything it is more or less informative rather than trashy. Her ideas in the book were based on herself being very young in a racist southern town. This is book is critical for history in the class as well as a story to identify the segregation between the races. Drinking alcohol is also referred to quite frequently because of Dolphis Raymond who was known as the town drunk. It may have been considered trashy because of the story line making the majority of the town against colored people and this book also makes the Southern people seem racist and ignorant. Blacks are portrayed as incompetent fools that have no other purpose than to fulfill simple tasks that the white man find to be insignificant. The whites are depicted as conceited pigs that find any other person of another race “trash” . The Blacks are also portrayed as an unimportant race that are highly frowned upon by society. These occurrences may have been over exaggerated but in a bad way. Each race is looked upon horribly and depicted as bad as they can be. This so called “real” society is an example of the ultimate racist society most likely not experienced by “Scout”.
This book may be over exaggerated but it is still a relevant book that describes what things could and may have been like in the 1950’s.