| |[Year 12 |
| |Toolooa State High School |
| | |
| |Tom Lavender, English Essay |
|“Despite the efforts of governments, groups and individuals, humankind still finds it difficult to trust based on the soul of a person; |
|we are more comfortable making judgements based on skin colour.” |
Prejudice, courage and unity…
...view middle of the document...
We as an audience do not need to have experienced prejudice to connect with Lee’s text; rather, we need to have a sense of compassion. With that said, many of the refrains woven into ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ are often lost on a confused youth audience, flicking back through the pages of a book looking for a hidden sentence. On the other hand, connecting with the themes in ‘Remember the Titans’ comes much easier to a youth audience as the film medium presents many more opportunities for a bond to form between character and audience. Soundtrack, shot types, camera angles and verbal techniques all build up the text’s characters in a way which is much more appealing to a youth audience than lines in a book.
Lee addresses themes such as prejudice and tolerance; especially the courage it takes to make societal change. These ideas, combined with her personal experiences, undoubtedly influenced Lee to write her Pulitzer Prize winning novel. Lee wanted to say something about the civil rights movement which was at its height in 1960 when the novel was published. Even though the setting of the novel is in the 1930's, the novel has much to say about the fair treatment of all people, especially African-Americans. Although Lee has stated that her goal was not to depict her own childhood specifically, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ contains several autobiographical elements. Like Scout, the fictional protagonist of the story, Lee witnessed firsthand the damaging effects of racism and intolerance in her hometown of Monroeville. Also like Scout, her father was a lawyer and served in the Alabama State Legislature. He once defended two black men accused of killing a white store clerk. Despite his defence, the men were found guilty and sentenced to death. Many scholars suggest, however, that the trial in To Kill a Mockingbird was inspired by the well-known Scottsboro Boys trial. In Scottsboro, Alabama, in 1931, two white women accused nine young black men of rape. Several of the young men were convicted and sent to prison, where they remained until it was revealed that the women had made up the story. The trial of Tom Robinson and its aftermath contains many similarities to that of the Scottsboro Boys. Harper’s personal experiences must have heavily influenced her reasoning for composing the text; explaining why she chose to channel her young life into the characters of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ It can be said that Lee’s relationship with the events of the novel allowed her to write events and characters which felt realistic, veritable and believable to the audience in a way that no other author in unlike experiences could have done; bolstering the connection between Lee’s text and an older audience which had come to live with the unfortunate facts of life detailed in the text. However, a younger audience which has been born into the wake of the affirmative civil rights movement (to whom overt, undisguised racism is slightly more alien to them than to their...