To Kill A Mockingbird Tom Robinson Essay Contest

Cicada Scott

Manitou Springs High School
Manitou Springs, CO

Congratulations! It's a Mockingbird.

Even before we're born, we're placed in one of two categories. Is it a boy, or is it a girl? It would have made my life a lot easier if I could have answered that question myself.

Throughout "To Kill a Mockingbird," Scout struggles with what is expected of her gender. Her favorite outfit is her overalls, not any of her dresses. When playing with Jem and Dill, she is both Mr. Crabtree and Mrs. Radley. While Atticus doesn't seem to mind her boyish behavior, the rest of the community does - Aunt Alexandra is constantly telling her to act like a lady, and the women at the missionary society giggle when she tells them how she's wearing britches under her dress. Other people try to dictate who she is and how she expresses herself.

Despite what my ultrasounds would tell you, I don't think I've ever been a girl. That said, I've never been a boy, either - while I call myself trans, I'd like to think it's not because I'm transitioning between genders, but that I transcend them altogether. I expressed this feeling from a young age, and fortunately, my parents were lenient about it. Even my community, being a small, liberal town, was okay with it for the most part. I could play with toy cars one minute, romp around in a dress the next, then wallow in the mud later that day and no one would bat an eye, at least to my face.

Still, sexism is insidious, and over time I started to separate myself from the boys in a desire to fit in. I'm glad to say I eventually came to terms with my identity and grew out of it, but it was a terrifying process; it's dangerous to be gender nonconforming. At its best, people make assumptions about your sexuality, constantly give you the wrong "sir" or "ma'am", or ridicule you for standing out in a world of pinks and blues. At its worst, you end up the next victim in a string of hate-motivated murders, where the news will ensure with sensationalism that you never rest in peace. Time and time again, we are defined by the communities we live in and not by ourselves. Even growing up in the most liberal of places couldn't have shielded me from this brand of bigotry.

This is where "To Kill a Mockingbird" hit me the hardest, because being trans is like being at once Tom Robinson and Scout. I watch as my community fights for its rights, and know in my heart it's a losing battle, but hope for societal acquittal anyways. Day in and day out I battle with discrimination, but only understand the gravity of it when I look at it from an outside angle. We are making steps, but just baby-steps--it's time that we, too took control of our own stories.

Fear in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Essay

1582 Words7 Pages

Fear in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Fear is an important force in the novel because it is the cause of most people's action. The main theme in the book is a result of fear such as the Tom Robinson case and Boo Radley. Ignorance breeds fear which in turn breeds prejudice. Fear is infectious, and each character in the book is affected by other people's fear. Hence, the people in Southern town are always afraid.

Lee is able to explore fear in the novel most effectively by seeing how individual characters are affected by it. In Particular, Mayella Ewell is influenced and manipulated a lot which is shown by the fact she accuses Tom. The underlying reason for the Tom Robinson case going to…show more content…

He fears that the race barriers will be broken down and people will see him as the " trash " at the bottom of the pile. It is fear beneath his anger and prejudice that makes him behave the way he does. Lee shows that people deal with fear in different ways.

The jury at Tom's trial is not courageous enough as they are unable to do the right thing because they fear they would probably be lynched or cast out of society. They are afraid of being at odds from the community because it would not accept it and hence may be targeted just as Bob Ewell held a grudge and swore to get " revenge" on Atticus. Atticus is an example of the danger one could be in for being different. He is in danger of being lynched and threatened by Bob Ewell, and his children are attacked because he stands up for what he believes in. This is why the jury is not able to acquit Tom in spite of knowing he is innocent because they are afraid of being in direct conflict with the people of Maycomb. Furthermore, they are prejudiced against Black people, which in effect means that they fear blacks because they believe that "all Negro men are basically immoral." This same reason is why all the white women in the audience fear black men because they thought, " all Negro men are not to be trusted around [white] women." Some people are not willing to do right by serving on a jury because they fear public

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