I think that my thesis statement had improved in this essay compared to my prior ones. I also think that I went deep into detail and had new idea.
I think that I could improve on better integrating quotes into my writing, and to get rid of what is not necessairy, to make my writing stronger.
The Plague Of Racial Prejudice:
There are many different reasons that can cause one to choose to fight racism or that can stop one from fighting for equality. Throughout the stories To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and The Help directed by Tate Taylor, many of the factors that contribute to one choosing whether to fight racism or not are explored. Both stories induced fear through the white community towards their town for the support of racism, which caused fear of becoming isolated for those who believed in equality, and demonstrated the cycle of racism continuing, which stopped progress towards finding equality. In the novel Mockingbird, the Black community accepts their fate of not being treated equally to white people, while the few people who have no prejudice towards the them do not speak out for change. The Finch’s did support the Black community, but were victims to their time and place, as they could not take on the embedded prejudices within Maycomb. Whereas, in the film Help, the black community begins to rebel, and with help from Skeeter writing her book, are able to begin to speak out. Ultimately, both stories demonstrate the plague that is racial prejudice, and how one’s morality and conscience can be affected by the social pressure to conform to such standards. One of the many reasons that one can choose not to stand up to racism is fear. Both stories Mockingbird and Help demonstrated the white community inducing fear in their towns. However, this is shown differently throughout each story. In Mockingbird, most of the White population of the town are described with a sheep-like mentality. They are very susceptible to the town’s (Mrs. Stephanie’s and Mrs. Maudie’s) gossip, and do not go against the it’s prejudices. However, those who do not support racism, do not express it very vocally. In the story, the Finch’s did not believe in racism. One of the reasons for their different views of Black people, was because of Calpurnia. Throughout the story she was shown as a strong, mother-like figure for the family. She kept the children in order, and the children respected her authority. From this, the Finch’s knew a different experience of the Black community than the rest of the town. Since the rest of the town never gained a real perspective of the African American community, all they knew where the rumors they heard, and the fact that they lived past the dump, and past the Ewelles. For many of the characters in this story racism was a part of who they where, and they did not desire to change their way of thinking. This was shown at it’s extremes in two parts of the story. The first being violence. When the group of men came to Tom Robinson’s jail cell to lynch him, they had let their prejudices take them to a point where they believed a race to be so below them, that they where willing to kill him for a crime they weren’t sure he even committed. The second being hiding one’s self. When Scout and Dill left the courthouse during Tom Robinson’s trail, they had an encounter with Dolphus Raymond, who they assumed was a drunk, as the rest of the town did, “Some folks don’t like the manner I live.. I try to give ‘em a ground, you see, it helps folks if they can latch onto a reason. They could ne’er understand that I live like I do because that’s the manner I want to live.” (Lee 268). But after briefly coming to know him, they discovered that he was not a drunk, but rather wearing a mask. He was covering up his true self, to give the town a reasoning as to why he would want to be with a Black woman. This, again, is showing the lengths that one would go, in order to protect themselves from the power of the white community within the town. It is showing the fear that the town has instituted into the community. For those reasons, it made racism something that was very difficult for those who did not support it to fight it. Although, there where some steps for equality within the town, for example letting Tom Robinson have access to a lawyer for his trail, and Mrs. Maudie not being as racist as the rest of the town, while not having the same perspective of the Black community as the Finch’s did. In the story Help, there is still a sheep-like way of thinking within the town, but it is caused differently than it was in Mockingbird. Mrs. Hilly is the queen. She has a group of all the women (White) in town, and they all follow her. She believes very much in White people being of higher power than Black people, and because of this, the group of White women follow her way of thinking, even if they do not always agree with it. She held great influence over their opinions, telling them untrue facts, and therefore creating a greater prejudice within their community, “All these houses they’re building without maid’s quarters? It’s just plain dangerous. Everybody knows they carry different kinds of diseases than we do.” (Tate). With her influence, many believed her rumors to be true, and as a result of many people believing her, even more in their community did. However, in the story, Skeeter did not agree with her way of thinking. Much like Mockingbird, this could have been because as a child she had a very strong connection with her Help, Constantine. She was shown as a strong, mother-like figure to Skeeter, which gave her respect for the Black community. Although there where still great prejudices in the town, she decided to try and fight the racism by writing a book on what the Help’s perspectives of life where. But to give people a deeper understanding of the Black community was not her only motive to write this book, her cause of writing it was to help herself in getting a job as a writer. Once Skeeter’s book gets published, unlike Mockingbird, many of the women in the community (who are also a part of Mrs. Hilly’s group) read it and gain a different perspective of the lives of the Help. Although there where small amounts of progress in Mockingbird, this was a greater change for equality. It wasn’t only Skeeter who acted upon not supporting racism, it was also the Help. For example, when Minny made her pie for Mrs. Hilly, this was her quiet, and yet loud form of rebelling, which Mrs. Hilly would later protest after the book had been published, “This book is not about Jackson!” (Tate). Here, she defended not only herself but also the Black community in order to protect her own self value. Another example, would be when Aibileen agreed to help Skeeter write her story. It was illegal for a black person to let a White person into their home, but Aibileen did anyway, in order for her to find an outlet, and in hopes of showing others what it really was to be the Help, and to be Black. This was her way of trying to fight for equality without risking being arrested, as Yule Mae was, when there was no real proof that she had done what she had been accused for by her boss, which is similar to the results of the accusations that where made towards Tom Robinson, in Mockingbird. Another cause for characters in both Mockingbird and Help, not to fight for equality, was because of a fear of becoming isolated from the community. In both stories gossip and rumor where very powerful weapons, and the basis from which a lot of the fear of isolation grew. In Mockingbird, the community could see how the town had isolated the Black community (both physically and morally), “I’m simply defending a Negro – his name’s Tom Robinson. He lives in that little settlement beyond the town dump.. She [Calpurnia] says they’re clean-living folks.” (Lee 75). Here, Harper Lee is showing the Finch’s perspective of where and how the black community lives. Whereas during the trail, Bob Ewell explains what the Black community is to most of the town, as they share similar thoughts of the African American community, while the rest of the town thinks of the Ewell’s as less then them, “..Lived down yonder in that ni—er-nest.. I’ve asked this county for fifteen years to clean out that nest down yonder, they’re dangerous to live around ‘sides devaluin’ my property..” (Lee 234). The Ewell’s are a good example of the isolation that the town can have, as there is little respect for their family and much gossip of them throughout the town. Another example of the town’s isolation would be Boo Radley. There was much uncertainty within the town of what he did, and who he was, which once again forced him to become subject to gossip. Although he was not a Black person and was not affected by the racism, he lived as an example for much of the community of just how aggressive they could be towards an outcast, so it could only be imagined what they would do to someone who very vocally (more than the Finch’s) expressed their acceptance for the Black community. Isolation is also shown throughout Help. In the story, all the women in the town wanted to fit in and be a part of Mrs. Hilly’s group, and therefore followed whatever she did or believed. Celia is a good example of how Mrs. Hilly and her group isolated those who she would consider to be outsiders. Celia did not advocate for the Black community, she had no real prejudices towards them, and although Mrs. Hilly and her group where unaware of this, they considered her to be of a lower-class then them, and excluded her from their group. Celia tried to appeal to them, by bringing them a pie, only to be ignored. This is an example of how once they have one belief of who someone is, they hold on to it. When Mrs. Hilly found out that Skeeter wrote the book, she became very aggressive and violent towards her, showing her isolation, and turning on someone she once considered to be her friend when she found out that she supported the black community. Hilly: I’ve contacted my lawyer, Hibby Goodman. He’s the best liable attorney in this state. Oh, missy, you’re going to jail!” Skeeter: “You can’t prove anything.” Hilly: “Oh, I one hundred percent know you wrote it! Cause nobody else in town is a tacky as you. ..Hilly: “You tell Aibileen, the next time she wants to write about my dear friend, Elizabeth? Uh-huh! Remember her? .. Let’s just say Aibileen ought to have been a bit smarter before puttin’ in about that L shaped scratch in poor Elizabeth’s dining table. And that ni—er, Minny? Do I have plans for her.” This scene reinforces what great lengths Mrs. Hilly (and other’s in the community) would go to protect her self value, and the fear she tries to put in Skeeter to attempt to get her to admit to writing the book, to have her face judgments, and to be isolated from the community. In conclusion, both stories demonstrate the racism that the Black community faces, and the fight for equality. In the story Mockingbird, there is small progress towards equality, as almost all of the town does not want to change their prejudice towards the Black community. While in the film Help, there is more progress towards equality, as the Black community begins to rebel from the White, which is aided by Skeeter writing her book, showing the small progress within the White community. Much like Skeeter, the Finch’s didn’t believe in racism, and although they both shared the same beliefs, both stories presented different circumstances of life, showing the factors that contributed to the inability and the small ability to be able to speak for what was right. Regardless of the circumstances of the stories, one should be able to look past the social pressure or standards to conform to one way of thinking, and take the risk of speaking out for what one believes is right, even while facing many who do not support the same ideas.
Works Cited: Lee, Harper. To Kill A Mockingbird. New York, New York: Grand Central Publishing, 1960. The Help. Dir. Tate Taylor. 2011. Movie.
A Fracture Of Light
First Chapter Of A Book
5 / 28 / 2018
English Honors 10 Block A
I’ve lived everyday of my life in the exact same way. Wake up, eat, train, learn my schooling, sleep, and never go past the barrier. The barrier has been in our town since I was five. We never needed it before, but after the incident happened, a big black wall the height of two skyscrapers, known as the barrier by town folk, was built to protect us from them. My parents say that it was an attack, not an accident, that we should have expected it to happen, and that I almost died that day. I’ve asked my parents who did it and what happened, but the only information I’ve managed to collect is that they are called Migorgs, humans with powers, that’s all I know, as no one speaks of what happened, they instead quietly fear it. A somber grey shadow now looms over my town, and storm clouds who never rain have decided to make our sky their permanent home. I was too young to be able to remember a time when it was any different. There’s a feeling of uneasiness within the people, some awaiting another attack, others fearing the last, while the rest try to hunt what hurt us. We are schooled daily, being taught to train to protect our town, preparing for another attack. Our trainer Smiths, a strict forty year old man, who is beginning to wrinkle, says he doesn’t know when it will occur, but is sure it will happen again. I’ve always been good at training, better then most, Smiths says I’m the strongest fighter in the school. It’s always been easy for me, natural, like my brain has already learned the steps of every move. I never really thought about it, until two months and seven days ago. That was the day he found me, the day he took me.
The bell rang as I shut my locker. I moved through a crowd of people, and headed back to training. Mr. Smiths greeted me at the door, “Hello, Miss Waters,” he said, his voice cracking, from yelling I imagined.
I smiled replying, “Hello,” back.
I moved into the middle of the room, and began stretching. I was the first one to get to training, but not long after, a boy came in.
“Hello Mr. Davids, welcome to training, I hope you’ll like it here.” Said Smiths.
I turned looking to see who it was, new people never came here, he nodded and smiled at Smiths, his soft brown hair moving as he nodded, and blue eyes smiling along with his mouth. He went across the room from me, also beginning to stretch. I contemplated talking to him, but decided against it. Soon the rest of the class had poured in. We began our training as usual, I sat and watched, Smiths used me as an example, and I would fight last. Except, today I was off, I was distracted.
“Miss Waters?” I heard. “Miss Waters, would you care to join us?” I looked up embarrassed, to Smiths, waiting impatiently for me at the front of the class, his forehead beginning to wrinkle.
“Sorry,” I responded, getting up and running to the front of the room. There where some laughs from the class, and my cheeks began to heat up.
“Don’t let it happen again.” Smiths sternly told me.
I nodded. I pulled up my fists, ready to fight. Smiths threw a punch at me and I blocked it. He threw another and I blocked it again. It felt effortless and natural. Soon, I almost had him on the ground. He got up from the blue foam mats, and turned to the class.
“This was very good,” he began. “I expect you all to be putting in your best efforts, or else you will not succeed in your training, and by doing that you are putting lives in danger.” His words where firm.
I looked at the new boy, he shook his head, smiling. “Why would he think that is funny?” I thought.
“Now,” Smiths continued, “Are there any questions about today?” He looked around the room. “Ah, yes!” Smiths suddenly exclaimed. “I’d like you all to welcome our newest student, Juke Davids.” He gestured his arm out towards him, the class turning to look.
He waved in response.
“You may leave now.” Smiths said, waving everyone out of the class.
I began to leave the class, as Smiths said, “Good work today.”
“Thank you.” I replied.
I left the class, Juke Davids just behind me.
I turned. “Hey.” I said. “I’m Casi.”
“Hi.” He said looking at me. “I’m Juke.”
“Where are you from?” I asked, curious of how someone ended up here. He looked nervous. I waited, feeling intrusive I quickly added, “Sorry, I didn’t mean –“
“Your fighting is pretty good.” He interrupted.
“Thanks,” I said, “How come you didn’t go?” I asked. He looked like he was thinking, his dark eyebrows moved closer towards his eyes.
“Guess I have to learn the moves before I can do them.” He replied.
“Right.” I said, walking away.
My walk home was quiet, like most of the town. I couldn’t help but wonder about Juke, where did he come from, and why would he come here? I decided not to think about it too much, I couldn’t get distracted, my training was too important anyway. I looked up, staring at the barrier around me. Sometimes I wondered what it would be like without it, the world surrounding me, instead of a wall. I wanted to know what was behind it, who the Migorgs really where and why we where so afraid of them, I wanted to know what really happened. I turned my next corner, deciding to take a short cut down an alley instead of walking all the way around; I felt tired from training today. I turned the dark corner, and began to make my way down. Suddenly, I saw a tall figure standing in the middle of it. I approached the silhouette, and began to make out a face. I instinctively made a fist against my side. Until the light hit their face enough for me to see it –
“Juke?” I asked. “What are you doing here? Do you need help with directions, because I could show you-“
He began to mumble some words under his breath, and raised his hand to my forehead. I couldn’t run, I couldn’t move. I was stuck. I suddenly felt myself fall, hitting blackness. I woke up, my eyes blinking, trying to adjust to the light. I pushed myself, sitting up against my hands, and I looked around. The air was cool but sweet and slow, I squinted, my eyes focusing on a field of green. The blades of grass covered my knees, a patch of yellow flowers stood on my left. I stood up, looking around myself. The sky was blue like the oceans I’ve heard of, the sun was warming, and embracing, I walked, running my hand through the blades of grass, I bent to touch the colorful flowers that lived together, they where soft and delicate. I stood up, to suddenly see a sea of trees in front of me, that had not been there before. I walked towards it, wondering where it came from. As I approached the forest, the sky began to darken, and the trees grew taller and darker as I neared. I stepped within it, feeling lost, I turned to go back, but there where hundreds of trees behind me now, it had grown. From a distance, I suddenly heard my name being called. I grew tense, my knees beginning to buckle, it began to grow cooler. I turned to see an old lady standing behind me. She had long white hair, wore a pink knitted poncho, and stood watching me. She seemed kind. I looked at her in wonderment, the heavy forest trees surrounded us. I tried to speak, but was unable to. She just stood there silently watching me. I suddenly saw a carving on a tree, stepping to it, I read it closely. “Juke Moxcas was here”, it read. I turned in disbelief to the old lady, but she was gone. Afraid, I turned to stare into the black pit of the forest, and did the only thing I knew how to, run.
I gasped for air, waking up, my eyes blinking trying to stop their watering. My heart was beating out of my chest, and my pulse was racing through my body. I looked around, my eyes stopping their watering. I didn’t know where I was, I began to get up, as I caught my breath.
“You’ll be fine dear,” a voice said from behind me.
I spun around, looking to see who it was. It was an old lady, wearing a pink poncho. Long white hair sat on her shoulders.
“Rest, you’ll understand what needs to be understood soon. There is time.” She spoke with certainty. “My name is Delia.”
I laid back down, but it didn’t feel like a choice, like my body instinctively knew to do this. I heard the old lady arise, and walk out of the room.
I sat up, loopy. I wondered how much time had passed, I blinked, looking around, trying to understand what was going on. I rose to my feet, feeling wobbly. I was hungry, I felt although I hadn’t eaten in years. I looked around, an unusual light lit the room. I heard a sudden knock at the door, I braced myself, only to fall back onto the bed. It slowly opened, and a tall figure emerged from it: Juke.
“What did you do to me?” I demanded. It felt nice to be able to speak again.
“It will all be explained, I promise.” He responded. “Come with me.” He said.
“Why should I?” I asked. “Just so you can attack me again?”
“I didn’t attack you. Don’t make me feel worse about it then I already do.” He said, uncomfortably rubbing the back of his neck.
I thought about his words for a moment.
“Besides,” he said, “you need to eat.”
I was hungry, “Fine.” I said. “But only because I’m about to die of loss of food.” Maybe I’d figure out where I am.
I got up, and I slowly followed him out of the room that I was in, and down a set of stairs. I grabbed the railing, my knees shaking under the pressure of my body. I felt so weak. We came down to a dinning room to our right. I was so large. There where probably twelve people sitting there, all adults. I looked at the right end, seeing Delia, the old lady who had been in my dream and in my room afterwards. She looked distracted, not noticing us, all of them did. The air in the room carried a concerned tone. I couldn’t help but wondering if it was because of me. We came to the bottom of the stairs, and Juke suddenly cleared his throat, grabbing the attention of everyone sitting at the table. I felt lost again. A man sitting on the right end of the table near Delia stood.
“I’m sure there are lots of questions you have, Casi. I am Stren. Your questions will all be answered in time, as I imagine you are very hungry, so please join us and eat. All will be explained.” He gestured to a chair on his left.
I looked to Juke, and he nodded. Delia smiled as I approached, Juke following me. He sat in the chair next to mine, he was my only glimmer of reality. I looked down to see that there had already been a plate of food made for me. Bacon, eggs, toast, fruit and pancakes sat on it. I looked around to find that I was the only one eating.
“Please,” Stren gestured to my plate, telling me to eat.
I nodded. The food was incredibly flavorful, everything tasted like it was cooked to perfection. I wanted to ask who made it, but I was so hungry I couldn’t stop eating to get a word in. After I had finished my plate, I felt much better, sitting back feeling full. I looked around the room, and noticed what I hadn’t before, there was a large black beaded chandelier with twelve spots for candles that sparkled on the ceiling above us, the table being incredibly large, was also made of a thick, dark wood, with detailed carvings on it. I traced my hand over it and felt it’s smoothness. I looked back up, to notice that my plate had disappeared, I couldn’t tell if someone had taken it away during my distraction, or if it had vanished on it’s own. I also noticed the silence that surrounded me, coming back to my senses and looking around myself, embarrassed that I had forgotten other’s where here, I became tense again, as I remembered where I was.
“Well,” Delia began, “I supposed now that you’ve eaten, we can begin.”
“Begin what?” I asked. I looked around to try and find an answer from someone, but no one would tell me.
Everyone suddenly joined hands, and Juke gestured with his that I do the same, so I did.
“Juke.” Stren said.
Juke nodded in response. He began to say something under his breath, I tried to understand it, but I couldn’t make it out. The room began to shake, paintings that hung on the wall fell to the ground, the table shook beneath my hands, and the chandelier swung as though it was being thrown back and fourth. I frantically looked around the room, no one seemed to flinch, I tried to get up, and let go of their hands, but I couldn’t move. I squeezed my eyes shut, hoping it would end. To my surprise, it suddenly did. We let go of our hands.
“Something’s not right.” Juke suddenly said.
Stren sighed. “Just as I expected,” he begun.
“We have to tell her, it’s the only way.” Delia began.
“We can’t.” Said Stren.
“Please, just tell me what is happening?” I said desperately. I looked down the table at the other nine people who sat, they where silent.
Stren rose saying, “We will try again tomorrow. Let me decide what is best to do in that time.” He walked out of the room.
Delia watched him leave, sighing. She looked to me and gave a forgiving smile.
“Come on.” Juke leaned over and said to me.
I got up, and followed him out. I followed him out of the dinning room, passing the stairs, through a room filled with books, chairs, and a fireplace within the wall. He turned a corner and opened a door. He gestured for me to go first.
“We can talk here.” He said as I past him.
I walked in between two short narrow walls, into a bedroom.
“Is this yours?” I asked.
He nodded. I looked around, the walls where cream white, and he had a bed in the middle with deep red sheets, a side table on each side hold piles of books, and a chair against the far wall. I sat on the edge of his bed. He sat with me. There was silence for a moment.
“I’m sorry for what I had to do.” He said. “You have to understand it wasn’t my choice.” His face held concern, his blue eyes narrowing while he looked at me.
I thought for a moment. “It’s not your fault.” I said, “They sent you, right? Who are they?”
“My family,” he replied, “You met Delia, she is my grandmother, and Stren is my father. The rest are more distant relatives. We lost so many in the attack.” He said.
I wanted to ask him a million questions about the attack, and what had just happened, and where I was. But I couldn’t bring myself to it. I felt so weak around him.
“There’s just so much you don’t understand yet.” He said, looking to the ground.
“I know.” I replied with a tone of sadness.
He looked at me. “There are unseen forces that cannot be spoken about.” He said, a serious look falling upon his face.
I took a breath trying to understand what was to come. I grabbed his hand.
Role: Boo Radley
The image that I have chosen is a slight exageration, but it represents the theme and idea that Boo is seen as a monsterous, dangerous creature (a shark), but means well, and is a kind hearted humanbeing (saving the man’s life) through multiple acts throughout the novel. Here are some:
I believe that the readers perception of Boo Radley, as well as his character’s development is largley based on Jem, Scout and Dill’s views of him throughout the story. In the beginning of the book, Boo is described as a monster, who eats raw squirrels and, and who looks through windows in the night. “Boo was about six and a half feet tall.. he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch.. his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time..”. To the children in the story, Boo was seen as a mystical creature, something unkown and dangerous. This sense of unkowiness drives the children to want to know more of Boo, and through their curiosity, they become obsessed with discovering who he really is, for example. “..As the summer progressed, so did our game. We polished and perfected it, added dialogue and plot until we had manufactured a small play upon which we rang changes every day..”. Showing how, even though Boo’s goal of staying away from his community to not have to endure their harsh jugements, they are still just as present while he is not there.
The reader’s perception of Boo begins to change, when we discover that Boo has been leaving gifts for the children in the trees. It sheds a new brighter light on who Boo is, but still leaves a curiosity of why he is doing this. When Boo put the blanket around Scout, while she was watching the fire at Mrs. Maudie’s house, this was the beginning of the children gaining a new understanding of Boo, furthing their curiosity, but also shedding a brighter light upon who he really is. When Atticus says, “..Boo Radley. You were so busy looking at the fire you didn’t know when he put the blanket around you..”. This shows the light that is beginning to shine upon Boo’s character, as the audience learns he knows humanity, and cares for others.
After the children witness the Tom Robinson trail, thier new understanding of Boo Radley furthers, and they begin to understand that he might not have been locked away for years, but had chosen to stay away from his community based on how they can react and behave towards outsiders. When the children begin to gain a better understanding of who Boo Radley is, this is also a beginning of a turning point for Boo.
When Bob Ewell attacked Scout and Jem, Boo protected them. Although Tate believes that Boo stabbed Bob, he choses not to send him to prison, as he believes that that would be no
punishement to him, but rather to put him into the town’s “limelight”, which he thinks Boo would not appreciate, as he is shy. Boo’s character is now no longer seen as a monster by the children, but the perspective of his character has completley changed, from a misunderstood monster in the beginning, to now being seen as an kind, well meant humanbeing.
There are two images showing the similarities of each other. The first is a map of Maycomb, the finctional town in which To Kill a Mockingbird takes place, and the second, is a map to Monroeville, which is a real town in Alabama that Harper Lee grew up in.
The story of To Kill A Mockingbird written by Harper Lee is very autobiographical to Lee’s childhood. The story takes place in a small fictional town in the south called Maycomb, which is based on the real town that Haper Lee grew up in, Monroeville. Many of the characters in the novel are also brought from Harper Lee’s reality; Scout being a representation of Lee in her childhood (both being tomboys, and going to her father’s trails with Dill / her real friend who Dill is based on), Atticus Finch was strongly based on her father (him also being a southern lawyer, and her mother in real life had a condition in which she was mentally and emotionaly absent from her childrens lives, so her father did much of the parenting alone, much like Atticus), Jem is four years older than Scout (the same for Lee in real life), the family had a black housekeeper who came to work in thier homse each day (much like Calpurnia), Dill Harris was based on one of her childhood friends (as he would come to visit every summer), and itt is thought that Boo Radley was based on one of her neighbours, as there was a man very similar to him (mysterious, and frightened local children, and left gifts in the trees for children).
The trail in the story was similar to one Lee had experienced in her childhood; a white woman near Monroeville fasley accused a black man of raping her, and the man was sentenced to death. However, after letters claiming that he had been falsey accused, his sentence was changed to life in prison, where he died. The story as well as the trail where published in her father’s newspaper (basing Tom Robinson’s character after him). It is also probable that the trail in the book was influenced by the Scottsboro Boys, where nine young black men where falsey convicted of raping two white women (on very poor, different evidence), after having gotten into a fight with five white men, which they won, and then the white men complained to a train guard at the next stop of what happened. The Scottsboro case held the same purpose as the trail of Tom Robinson did in the novel, the point being to show the still very alive prejudice of the south. Lee published this novel in the 1960’s during the civil rights movement, and although it is set in the 1930’s, Lee is very much showing how she believes in the fair treatement for black people.
Connection to Inquiry Question
Find one non-fiction source that also answers your question. Look for a source from a reputable news site such as CBC, CTV, Macleans, Global News, an Encyclopedia, The Vancouver Sun, The Province, Globe and Mail, or The National Post. Be sure to include quotes.
Inquiry Question: What effect does racism have on a person / culture?
Title of the news source: Global News
Title of the article: ‘It’s a traumatic moment’: How everyday racism can impact mental, physical health
Author: Leslie Young
Citation (use EasyBib or Citation Machine): Works Cited
Young, Leslie. “’It’s a Traumatic Moment’: How Everyday Racism Can Impact Mental, Physical Health.” Global News, Global News, 6 Apr. 2018, globalnews.ca/news/4119857/racism-mental-health/.
Notes (summarized and paraphrased):
• “People who experience a moment of racism “put it away in a box,””
• “Next time they experience something similar, they might not just react to that single comment, but to all the other ones they have already experienced throughout their lifetime.”
• ““We have research over the past 20 years that shows some pretty definitive links to just about every major mental illness and experiences of racism and discrimination,””
• “People come in with depression or in some cases symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of repeated racist interactions.”
• “And some people get depressed because they feel like they can’t keep trying to fight the system and just give up.”
• “Some people might also deal with stress by resorting to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism”
• “PTSD, “That’s because these events tend to be unpredictable so you never know when they’re going to happen””
• “Repeated racist interactions”
• “The constant stress of racism has also been associated with physical health problems, like high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes”
• ““It’s been pretty consistent and strong, this link between racism and poor physical health as well as mental health.””
The answer to the question:
Not only a person’s self worth, but mental health as well as physical, can be affected by racism. Each comment builds up, until it can no longer be contained, and it bursts out, seeming to over react to one comment, getting them in more trouble and creating a worse image, when in reality, it wasn’t that one comment, but all of the ones they’ve received in the past as well.
Now find a literary source that answers the question. This can be a movie, book, short story, poem, spoken word or song. Be sure to include quotes.
Source genre: Song
Title: The Story of O-J
Citation: Works Cited
AZLryrics. “The Story of O-J.” AZLyrics, AZLyrics, http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/jayz/thestoryofoj.html.
Notes (summarized and paraphrased):
• “Light ni–, dark ni–, faux ni–, real ni–
Rich ni–, poor ni–, house ni–, field ni–
Still ni–, still ni–”
• “House ni–, don’t f– with me
I’m a field ni–, go shine cutlery
Go play the quarters where the butlers be
I’ma play the corners where the hustlers be”
The answer to the question:
In this song, Jay-Z explores how, no matter what social status you are of, your skin color will always be what truly defines who you are or the only thing you will be judged on. He explaines through the lyrics of “House n–, don’t f— with me..” that he doesn’t support the racist comments that affect him, nor the people that believe in racism, as house slaves generally liked their masters a little more, as they where heald and treated at a higher level, while field slaves where treated much lower, and treid to escape from their masters. He expresses his personal struggle with his own black identity through this song, showing how others may also feel towards racism.
I think my writing for this poem was very good, I enjoyed the imagery I created. I also liked the way my writing flowed. I think I could have improved my memorization, as well as creating more movement throughout my presentation. But, I think my spoken word was overall very good, and I enjoyed it!
I am very proud of my essay. I like the imagery that I created in the story, and the voice and dialogue that I wrote. I think that I could improve the organization and grammar (use of colons) in my writing. Overall I am very happy with the story that I wrote.
Destruction, Co-Existing, Pretending: The Human Behavior
The short story “There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury, is about a dystopian society that consists of many elements: the illusion of perfection, war, and technological control. In the story, man has destroyed nature and man itself, through war, pollution and technology. One theme that stood out to me most was man will always destroy man. I believe the story built itself around this idea.
The house in the story completed average human tasks itself; in one part of the story, choosing to read the poem “There will come soft rains”, which was ironic, since the author of the poem wanted to convey the idea that nature would thrive without the presence of man, while in this story, man had destroyed nature, so even without the presence of man, nature could no longer thrive. This idea is showing how humans have trouble co-existing with each other, let alone what surrounds us, much like the theme.
Another idea that I found in the story, is that humans like to pretend: “The entire west face of the house was black, save for five places. Here the silhouette in paint of a man mowing a lawn. Here, as in a photograph, a woman bent to pick flowers. Still farther over, their images burned on wood in one titanic instant, a small boy, hands flung into the air; higher up, the image of a thrown ball, and opposite him a girl, hands raised to catch a ball which never came down.” Bradbury showed that the family was trying to create the image of a stereotypical “perfect” family, ignoring that there was a war and pollution ruining their town – pretending that nothing wrong was going on. It was domestic bliss because of the technology.
I believe that this story shows important insight about humans, how we think and act, and how we need to be careful to not let this become our world. Our world already is much like the story in some parts of the world, and this shows the extreme humans can go to with technology, war, and pollution. The story is a warning based on our current and past societal trends of what our world can become.
In Miserable America by Kevin Abstract, we see many different examples of the human condition. In the beginning of the video, we are introduced to a white man. This man is portrayed as Kevin’s captor, who is holding him hostage. I believe that this man represents white America’s judgments and feelings towards gay people and minorities. This is a very good example of how society can create prejudgments towards people who are regarded as “different”. In the song, there are many lyrics that represent this idea of society, one of them being: “Well we all love Young Thug”. Though, this lyric slightly changes the idea of what society’s views are. Young Thug is a famous musician that dresses in women’s clothing and is loved by many people. This shows how society can perceive their judgements differently to minorities who are famous (who hold more power), than to minorities who are regular people. Also, the lyric: “Miserable America assassinate my character” is talking about how society’s judgments as well as media can break someone’s personality. In the end of the video, we see Kevin dancing and the women that where dancing around Kevin now drinking in celebration, as one of them shot the white man. Shooting the white man shows through pursuing our own beliefs and not following others, we can achieve our own goals; in this case it was defeating society’s expectations and judgments of what we should be. When we stand up to stereotypes it can lead to acceptance and freedom.