Justice In To Kill A Mockingbird Englsih Essay

2214 words - 9 pages

63 years ago, on August 28th, 1955, a fourteen year old boy from Chicago, Illinois was kidnapped, beaten, killed, and dumped into the Tallahatchie River. Emmett Till faced a horrible and gruesome death based on the ‘accusation’ of hitting on a white woman. A month later, Till’s murderers were acquitted by an all white jury. Later, protected by double jeopardy, the murders admitted to the vicious murder of the young boy. The murder and trial of Emmett Till shook the world and ignited the civil rights movement in a way never seen before. Five short years later, a young white writer published the famous novel To Kill A Mockingbird. No doubt influenced by the horrific events surrounding the 1950’s-1960’s, the Alabama native, Harper Lee, shed light on the struggles of southern segregation and the resulting unjust criminal justice system. Harper Lee’s novel intends to bring a harsh sense of reality to her readers, and demonstrate the racial and unjust biases present during this time in history. Now, nearly 60 years later, one would like to believe that things have changed and that the United States would draw from its unjust past to provide a more equal and just system for all citizens. Unfortunately, many of the injustices found in To Kill A Mockingbird still exist today.
Justice, in its most basic form, is the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims… conforming to truth, fact, and reason.[footnoteRef:1] Harper Lee provides countless examples of justice in To Kill A Mockingbird. Similar to the examples in the novel, Justice can come in many forms. One can achieve justice from the legal system. However, despite this grand premise on which our legal system is found, equality and justice are not always achieved. Another way to attain justice is through the just or right acts between citizens. “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”[footnoteRef:2] Ideally, justice is blind to race, gender, or other humanistic differences. However, many of Harper Lee’s characters are subject to the injustice or prejudice of others and consequently face serious penalties as a result. [1: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/justice] [2: Atticus Finch, pg. 116]
Atticus Finch represents the epitome of justice. Atticus truly believes in the legal system and its ability to treat people with equality and justice. Atticus states, “Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levellers, and in our courts all men are created equal. I’m no idealist to believe in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system - that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality.”[footnoteRef:3] Atticus Finch, as a lawyer, has a deep belief that the court system functions in the just manner for which it was originated. Furthermore, Atticus illustrates justice through his lack of prejudice. Atticus does not think that...

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