Does To Kill A Mocking Bird Deserve Its Spot On Americas Top Reading List? English 1 Honors Essay

769 words - 4 pages

Ben- Shabat 1
Noa Ben-Shabat
Nonhoff- Zieg
English 1H
8 June 2018
It’s Not all Black and White
As hard as one may try, somebody cannot genuinely write about the experiences of others
without encountering the situation themselves. Although To ​ Kill a Mockingbird ​ teaches
beneficial life lessons, it does not portray racism thoroughly. ​To Kill a Mockingbird ​ by Harper
Lee discloses the accounts of Scout Finch, a young girl blossoming in the South in the 1930’s.
Although the novel does a distinguished job of enforcing crucial topics, it does not deserve its
dominant place on America’s reading lists because of its inaccurate portrayal of racism. The
narrator cannot comprehend and share the entirety of racism in the 1930’s, and the novel focuses
on multiple other topics as well, leaving the readers distracted from the initial story of
discrimination.
To Kill a Mockingbird ​ does not deserve a spot on the list, solely for the reason that the
narrator is not qualified to acquaint racism. Scout is too exceptionally young and naive to
understand racism but, the book is still told from her perspective. When Scout visits her family,
her cousin, Francis, says horrible things about Atticus. Uncle Jack asks Scout what Francis said
about Atticus. "A n…..-lover. I [She] ain't [isn’t] very sure what it means, but the way Francis
said it..." (Lee.86) Scout was inadequate to comprehend the derogatory language used by her
family, thus leaving her helpless in ensuring the criticalness of the effects from racism.
Furthermore, Scout as a young white girl has not encountered racism and the frustrations of
Ben-Shabat 2
growing up in a poor African American community firsthand. Scout, becomes confused about
where her family stands in the social ladder, asking Atticus, “Are we poor” and getting the reply
that “We [The Finches] are indeed...but not as poor as the Cunninghams.” (Lee.27) Evidently,
multiple families in the South were affected by the Great Depression, but, Scout and her family
were fortunate enough to grow up in a home with a working father. The Finches seemingly did
not struggle with financial obstacles throughout the novel, which helps readers conclude that
Scouts life was not as burdensome as the life of African American families. From these facts,
one may conclude that the narrator may not be qualified to...

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