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Introduction and Background

2023-05-05 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文 --Introduction and Background,文章描述《杀死一只知更鸟》是美国女作家哈珀·李于1960年出版的一部小说。1932年,美国南部大萧条时期,律师阿提库斯·芬奇带着他的两个孩子,在这里过着平凡而幸福的生活。阿提库斯充满了对孩子和这个城市人民的爱,这种爱在每一个细节上都有体现。他总是帮助穷人赢得诉讼,而不是忽视他对邻居的老太太的祝福和赞美。他和他的孩子们生活在和平和平等的环境中,孩子们甚至可以叫他名字。有一次,阿提库斯对他的孩子们说:“我射杀了一只知更鸟,但我感到内疚,因为我认为它没有做错什么,为我们唱歌;它没有骚扰人们。这对我们有好处(李68)。知更鸟成为了他自己生命、自由和平等的象征。


1.1 The biography and background 传记和背景


" To Kill a Mockingbird" is a novel by Harper Lee, an American female writer, published in 1960. In 1932, the southern United States during the Great Depression, Atticus Finch, a lawyer, with his two children, lived an ordinary and happy life here. Atticus is full of love for children and this town’s people, and this love is reflected in every detail. He always helped the poor to win lawsuits, not ignoring his blessings and praises to the neighbor's old lady. He and his children lived in peace and equality, and the children could even call his name. At one time, Atticus told his children: “I shot a mockingbird, but I felt guilty because I thought it did not do anything wrong and sang for us; it did not harass people. It's good for us (Lee 68). " The mockingbird became a symbol of his own life, freedom and equality.

One day, the town’s judge asked him to defend a black man named Tom Robinson, who was accused of assaulting and raping a young white woman. Atticus's fate seems to have begun to change, because his fate is linked to this bird-like belief. In fact, the life he has walked through is the yearning for the practice of mockingbird. Only this time is somewhat different and it is much harder. He is doing something that cannot be accomplished. In that era, in the rural areas of the South, the general "people's sentiments" were still ingrained prejudices against blacks by white people. Although it was three quarters of a century before the end of the Civil War, it was necessary to eliminate racial discrimination and at least institutionalize racial equality. There is still a long way to go. This kind of prejudice is even projected deeply on the many black people in the town. The direct manifestation is that they have no courage or no way to change their destiny. They can only rely on lawyers like Atticus to speak. Therefore, Atticus, with his own strength, is destined to fail if he wants to fight against the true "people's sentiments" that have followed. Huge pressure took place when he took over the case. He was insulted and threatened by the plaintiff's father, a racially inebriated and extremely hateful black race. His daughter, Scott, had fought with others because of the insults of other children; the town was full of gossip and eventually evolved into action. In order to prevent people in the town from killing Robinson, he had to stay at the door overnight. However, Atticus has his own rules. He is white, but he is also a lawyer, a father, and a civilian who gets along with the black people every day. Therefore, he believes that the law can safeguard human dignity and the work entrusted to him by law is inexcusable. Because of this belief, he won the love of many people. He often practices his responsibilities in plain words and actions. In his own opinion, a person’s life has nothing to do with skin color. When the town’s rumors tried to stop him from defending the black Robinson, he continued to move forward. He explained: “There are many reasons. The most important reason is that if I do not do this, I cannot lift my head in the town. ."


In Atticus’s heart, it is one thing to maintain the law, defend justice, and ascertain the truth. Deep down in his heart does not believe that there will be conflicts between the three. He understands that there are many ugly things in the world and it is impossible to stay away from them. But he still believes that these ugliness can be overcome in the face of truth, justice, and the law. In the end, Robinson was killed on his way to prison because he tried to escape, but Atticus still thought that if he appealed, he still hoped to win the case.


1.2 Analysis and Appreciation

The core issue reflected in this book is entrenched racial discrimination in the United States. The issue of racial discrimination in the United States has been long overdue. In 1955, ethnic extremists in Mississippi lynched Emmett Till, a black teenager who was only 14 years old. In the same year, on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama, the black female tailor Rosa Parks was arrested and jailed for refusing to comply with the apartheid policy and refused to make a seat for a white man. The following year, the black residents of Montgomery launched a boycott of the bus campaign for a year. In 1956, Catherine Lucy received an admission notice from the University of Alabama and became the first black student to enter the university in history, but because of her enrollment, the University of Alabama and the tower where the university is located. A few days of riots took place in Tuscaloosa County, forcing the school board to make a decision to exclude Lucy from school. In 1957, in order to protect 9 black students at the Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, from white racial opposition, the government had to mobilize troops to maintain order.

In the middle of the 20th century in the United States, the pace of social progress accelerated with the progress of the industrial revolution, followed by the liberalization of the ideology of the people, the rise of civil rights movements, and the increasing presence of racial issues on the legal agenda. At this time, a novel that can reflect this issue -" To Kill a Mockingbird" followed. The United States has always been known as the "racial melting pot" because of its immigration culture, or the fact that the United States has integrated different ethnic groups. The issue of racial discrimination in the United States has a long history, but it has not attracted attention until the emergence of human rights issues. This is inextricably linked to the respect of the whites in the United States and the self-identity that the British have already precipitated. American society has never lacked "science," such as religion, which is directly or indirectly arguing for racial discrimination. The 19th-century American writer Hermann Melville said that the Anglo-Saxon race is a special God-selected people. God has determined that human expectations and great things come from our race(Schlesinger 15). The geography textbooks of early American schools used to describe black people directly: “They are a barbarian nation with a human face, but they are innocent.” In 1900, a report reflected the mainstream mentality of white people at the time: “Although all sorts of efforts have been made To educate them, many blacks are still extremely ignorant.(Elson 87-89)” Even though Lincoln had already promulgated the “Declaration of Slave Liberation” as early as 1862, the position of blacks in reality did not change much. In the climax of the novel, black people were found guilty without explicit evidence. This is the society’s naked discrimination and criticism of black people. In the society where the legal system was not perfect at that time, blacks were discriminated against.

America’s “equality and freedom” is often limited to white people. The most fundamental reason why racial discrimination in the United States has evolved into a cultural model is that the purpose of white people is to maximize their political and economic interests, that is, the interests of white people are paramount. Historically, since the Caucasians set foot on the land of the Americas, they have achieved absolute superiority through various means. They do not want to see the rise of blacks and other ethnic minorities. “The biggest threat to any form of racism is that a large number of minority members have risen to the top of society.(Wilson)” This gave them fear and resistance from the bottom of their hearts. The core concept of the supremacy of the interests of white people has long dominated the use of various means by white people to implement discrimination against ethnic minorities such as blacks. The American-Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal published a classic monograph on the problems of African Americans in 1944: " An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy " revealing a huge gap between American democracy ideals and reality. In contrast, Modal believes that the “black problem” in the United States is not actually a black issue, but an “attitude toward blacks by white people(Myrdal 43).” Until the 1950s and 1960s, the period of socio-economic depression in the United States was also the end of World War II. In the era of blacks fighting for equality, the race issue has inevitably intensified.

In the main case of the novel, the Tom case, the black Tom was accused of assaulting and raping a white woman. Atticus became Tom's defense lawyer. After questioning at his professional, wise and logical levels, the facts were presented to everyone: This white woman named Mayella loved him after spending some time with honest and kind Tom. On the day of the accident, Mayella cheated Tom into the house and tried to force sexual relations with him but was rejected by Tom. The father, who was just getting home from work, saw that his daughter was fooling around with a nigger. His furious father started to hurt his daughter and framed Tom and raped her. In the trial, Mayella wanted to help his father evade legal sanctions on the one hand, and in order to alleviate his sense of guilt that he was attracted by a poor black, he eventually chose to frame Tom. Although their conspiracy was eventually exposed by Atticus, in the world where whites control the right to speak, all blacks are lying and all blacks are immoral. In a society where white people discriminate against black people, blacks cannot win. Racial issues are a common objective fact for the southern United States. They are like air and permeate all aspects of society and family life.

In this book, in addition to manifesting racism, it also implicitly shows the problem that white people give excessive sympathy to black people. This reflects racism from the side. The problem is deeply rooted. Harper Lee pinned the rescue of the blacks on the moral awakening of the white people and had confidence in the moral return of the residents in the town. She believes that everything in the south will be beautiful, society will be fair, and justice will prevail over evil. This is the uniqueness of this book, but it is also its limitations. Although the author stands on the stand against racial discrimination, his background in the south makes it difficult for the author to fundamentally abandon the idea of racial discrimination. In Marshall's book, he had stood in the black point of view and appealed: "You have turned us into heartless people. Your humanitarianism claims that we belong to the whole world, and the racism you practiced has us all together. Different(Fanon 13).” The real equality of human rights is that all people are on the same basis and there will be no contradiction between people because of race or skin color problems. Whites will not hate them because of their skin color, nor will they give them too much sympathy because everyone is the same.

Also in the novel, there are many examples of implicit discrimination against blacks, most notably the Attics. Even though they were sympathetic to blacks, they did not treat blacks on an equal footing. But I think because you are black, so I pity you, this is a kind of implicit discrimination. When people in the town hated blacks, Atticus was willing to defend Tom. In his view, blacks, like mockingbirds, generally need protection and deserve sympathy. Attic's approach has treated blacks as a weak person, not as blacks as whites, because in his heart blacks are still lower than whites. He does not report great hopes for black people. He only hopes that black people are "good people" because they are not capable of doing other greater things. At the end of the article, Atticus educated scout, saying that when a person goes to observing blacks seriously, they will find that most of them are good people. Attic has no other requirements for blacks, as long as they are safe in their own right, do not break the law, and be a "good man." Attic had thought that deceiving a black man was dozens of times worse than deceiving a white man. What he said this way was precisely that he did not place blacks and whites on an equal footing. Atticus said in court that he would not pity Mayer because she is white, which explains the problem with Atticus. On the day of the Tom’s case, the order in which people entered the courtroom was this: Black people waited until the white man went upstairs before entering the house. This is a kind of behavioral racial discrimination. For example, after entering the court, the good-looking position is white. When Pastor Sykes took three children to the upstairs stands, four blacks stood up because there were not enough seats. They gave their front row seat to Pastor Sykes. In white-dominated towns, although social civil rights movements have risen, there is still a sense of inferiority among blacks. They accept the fact that the status of blacks is low, and that we should be white. Not only do white people have a hidden discrimination against them, black people also have a self-denying psychology.

The end of the Civil War marked the beginning of a new era in American history. The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution were passed and gradually implemented. The blacks acquired the citizenship rights and at the same time gained the right to education in the true sense. During the period after World War II, although the development of the situation predicted that the status of blacks would change, the apartheid system was still a very important part of American life(Bracey, Meier and Rudwick 621). Looking back at the background of Harper Lee's creation of this novel, the United States liberated black slaves after the “civil war” and protected the black citizenship rights through the constitutional amendment. However, despite the abolition of slavery, the long-standing attitude toward discrimination against blacks in the history of the United States cannot be eliminated. As a result, the southern states of the United States have gradually established apartheid systems by exploiting the features of federalism and loopholes in legal interpretation. This system allows the black people to curl up in the corners of society. Poor education, poor living standards, high unemployment and high crime rates are still the identity labels of blacks. The “isolated but equal” apartheid system has led to inferior people’s feelings of inferiority to a certain extent. By the 1950’s, various activities in the United States against racial discrimination and apartheid had emerged and eventually converged nationwide. American Black People's Rights Movement. In 1954, the Federal Supreme Court ruled that the "Brown v. Board of Education" judgement violated the constitution by the apartheid law, inciting the "separate but equal" principle and becoming the beginning of an overall eradication of the apartheid system. In order to ease the ethnic conflicts, the U.S. government has made many efforts. For example, the Kennedy government had issued an executive order. The decree announced that the government has a clear obligation to promote and ensure that all people, regardless of race, creed, color, or ethnic origin, enjoy equal rights in seeking federal government contracts when they are employed or applying for federal government positions. Opportunity(Tomasson, Crosby and Herzberger 126). After all, the country was slowly moving forward because of the awakening of the oppressed and conscience.

However, the problem of racial discrimination in the United States is deeply ingrained. The “tumor” of racial discrimination has not been completely eradicated from the Americans’ minds. This article, through an in-depth analysis of racial discrimination in " To Kill a Mockingbird", reflects the damage that racial discrimination can cause to members of society and the social system and helps to warn of today's development. It can be said that turning freedom, equality and a fair legal system from an ideal to a reality is the direction that many countries today must continue to strive for.


Lee, Harper. "To Kill a Mockingbird." Litigation  (1990): 68-58. Print.

Schlesinger, Arthur M. The Cycles of American History. HMH, 1999. Print.

Elson, Ruth Miller. Guardians of Tradition, American Schoolbooks of the Nineteenth Century. University of Nebraska Press, 1964. Print.

Wilson, William J. Power, Racism, and Privilege. Macmillan, 1973. Print.

Myrdal, Gunnar. An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy, Volume 1. Routledge, 2017. Print.

Fanon, Frantz. "The Wretched of the Earth. Translated [from the French] by Constance Farrington." 1965. Print.

Bracey, John H, August Meier, and Elliott M Rudwick. "Afro-Americans."  (1972). Print.

Tomasson, Richard F, Faye J Crosby, and Sharon D Herzberger. Affirmative Action: The Pros and Cons of Policy and Practice. Rowman & Littlefield, 2001. Print.






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