White versus Colored?
“Everybody's scared for their ass. There aren't too many people ready to die for racism. They'll kill for racism but they won't die for racism,” Florynce R. Kennedy, who established the Media Workshop to advertise with people of different colors, once said. The sad part is that Florynce is right. Not many people in the 1930s would be willing to sacrifice their own life to stand up for racism. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses ethos, characterization, and imagery to show how the setting of Maycomb gave harsh tones to the racism in Alabama. Lee characterizes the Ewells as white trash to uncover how most of the white citizens act in Maycomb. The Ewells are disrespectful to any man in Maycomb, thus showing harsh tones throughout the community. For example, when the youngest Ewell was asked to leave school on the first day by the teacher, he retorted with, “Report and be damned to ye! Ain’t no snot-nosed slut of a schoolteacher ever born c’n make me do nothin’! You ain’t making me go nowhere, missus. You just remember that, you ain’t makin’ me go nowhere!” (Lee 37). With Burris responding in such an ill-mannered way, it shows that the Ewells are complete oafs when it comes to courtesy. It seems that Burris’s disrespect comes from his father, Bob. When Bob Ewell saw Atticus leaving the post office, he approached Atticus, spat on him, cursed at him, and threatened to kill him (Lee 291). Atticus believes that folks like the Ewells are white trash if you see white men cheat black men. Having Bob discriminate Atticus like that is just as bad. Having white trash in Maycomb makes a Black man’s life unbearable at times. Lee uses imagery through the actions of the Whites and the Negroes to show how different the African Americans are treated from the whites. The imagery gives you a picture in your head of how the town of Maycomb might look like and how the people judge. When the Tom Robinson case was about to start, the Negroes had to wait...
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