'To Kill A Mockingbird' Essay What Do You Think About the Presentation of The Black Characters In To Kill A Mockingbird? The presentation of the black characters in 'To kill a Mockingbird' is an important role of the text. In 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Harper Lee shows the black community as an honest, kind group of people, with very positive attitudes. Lula is the only black character in the novel with a negative attitude, her attitude shows when she protests about Cal bringing Scout and Jem into the black's church, 'You ain't got no business bringing, white here's he snapped at Cal. It is as if Harper Lee wants to make the reader aware of the injustice suffered by the black community and the prejudice they endured. At afternoon tea, the ladies talked about 'the poor people in Africa' but they wouldn't help black people in their own town.
This is a perfect example of the hypocrisy of May comb. When they talk about the Africans they refer to them... But the Robinson's are seen as outcasts... The black community help each other, they had a collection at the church for Mrs Robinson.
The whole basis of racial prejudice is the whites saying that because their neighbours are black they are less human. The blacks are treated like 'scapegoats' and are punished because they resemble the evil inside the white people. The more kind and good the Negro is the more he is punished. This is seen all the way through the novel. Lula who seems to be just as bitter as the whites and accepts the way the white people treat her is not punished at all. This is shown by the way she speaks to Cal about the church 'They got their church, we got ours', because she is like this she never gets into trouble with the white community.
Tom on the other hand was so kind and generous that he soon became a 'scapegoat' for Mr Bob Ewel. The black people are constantly being compared to the white people through the novel. You can tell how the awfully the black people are treated by the whites through a number of examples, their church being used for gambling by the white men during the week. This shows that as far as the white men were concerned the black mans god was less of a god than their god. So they did not fear him. This is shown by the way the white men gambled in the church.
This can also be seen in the appearance of the church 'It was an ancient, paint peeled frame building' the graveyard is also run down 'graves in the cemetery were marked with crumbling tombstones, newer graves were outlined with brightly coloured glass and broken cola bottles'. But despite this the place hadn't got a cold or deserted feeling, 'It was a happy cemetery'. In the trial all the evidence proved Tom was innocent 'Mr Ewel swore out a warrant, no dough t signing it with his left hand, and Tom Robinson now sits before you, having taken the oath with the only good hand he possess - his right hand'. (Tom Robinson cut all the muscles in his left arm with farming machinery) May ella was badly beaten down her left side so the culprit would have to have hit her with his right hand, but Tom could not use his right hand or arm. However like Atic us said 'the word of a black man was never favoured over the word of a white man' and Tom was sentenced and when he tried to escape the guards shot him 17 times.
The environment the white community live in is very traditional & well equipped yet cold, the white people seem to be proud of their homes but don't seem to look after them, especially Bob Ewel. The black communities' homes are described as being warm and welcoming. The black people take a lot of pride in their homes and look after them well. The main black character Calpurnia looks after Scout and Jem well.
She insists on bathing them and washing their clothes 'She had put so much starch in my dress it came up like a tent when I sat down' for church 'I don't want anybody say in' I don't look after my children'. She is firm but fair and this makes Aunt Alexandra jealous of her at first. Atticus trusts her greatly and this is shown when he asked her to Mr Dolph us was hated because he had a black wife and mixed race children. He saw black people as equals to white people and so endangers the whole basic idea of whites being more human than blacks. The novel illustrates the position of the black people in the south in the 1930's. The south of the USA has always been poor and so used slaves.
Slavery and poverty go hand in hand. As the country was poor there were not enough facilities to go round. So the racial argument was not about who was black and who was white but about who was going to be poor. White people had the most money even after the slaves were freed so they decided the black people had to be poor.
The white people made laws justifying their belief on how the black community should be treated. The trouble with these unjust laws was that even the white community found it hard to make sense of them, so they did this by saying the black community was less human than they were. This becomes indent in the novel and is made more powerful with the in depth characterization. I think Harper Lee over exaggerated the novel to make a point, she is trying to show us how badly the black people were treated.
I think she succeeded in getting her message through. She makes the reader respect the black community and the predominant image in the reader's mind is the wait of life of Tom through the lies, deceit & fear of the white community.