MMC To Kill a Mockingbird Opinion Persuasive Argument

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Ruby Gilleland 10/08/2021 Persuasive Argument: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee The novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, is merely a product of its time, therefore, should no longer be considered a core text in contemporary education. To what extent do you agree with the statement above? Introduction: Is Harper Lee’s timeless classic, To Kill a Mockingbird still relevant today? In a modernised society, what can it bring to the table when taught as a core text to young readers in contemporary education? Harper Lee, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1960, tells a story from the perspective of a young, innocent, white girl, named Scout. Atticus, her father defends Tom Robinson, a black resident in Maycomb wrongfully accused of raping a white woman, despite it being socially undesirable at the time. It has been studied for generations due to the way it confronts Civil Rights, racial justice and social issues regarding segregation and discrimination in the United States. Looking back on recent events, such as the death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter Protests, it becomes more apparent that the relevancy of the novel needs to be reconsidered. As these events appear to become more prevalent by the day, young readers need to be informed on how racial discrimination continues today. Themes of racism, growing up and prejudice are highlighted through the behaviors of characters in the novel and contribute towards significant education to young readers about these matters. However, times have changed and there are major gaps towards the confrontation of racism when teaching To Kill a Mockingbird to a young audience. Therefore, change is needed immediately it’s going to continue to be taught in contemporary education. Themes and importance towards educating about the realism of racism and discriminate Themes evident throughout this novel include racism, growing up and prejudice are expressed in such a way that can allow innocent, young children to be educated towards identifying racism in a real-life matter, obtain a moral strength and develop a clear understanding of how ideologies have changed since the time the novel was written. Racism Young, innocent children tend to lack the knowledge about the history of racism and how it is evident in today’s modern society. Hence, unless young readers have been exposed to it before, they may find it hard to identify the full extent of racism today. The use of the N-word allows for an accurate representation of racism in the 1930’s, further representing how this novel can contribute towards the education of young readers, as there is no point of displaying an inaccurate representation of racism towards uneducated children, as it is misleading and will not contribute towards the child’s mandatory development of moral strength. To ensure their children develop a moral strength, many parents consider educating their children on the reality of racism and discrimination mandatory. To Kill a Mockingbird is targeted towards uneducated white people who do not understand racism inexplicably, including young, innocent children who lack knowledge about the history of racism and how it is still evident today. Hence, unless young readers have been exposed to it before, they may find it hard to identify the full extent of racism today. Growing up, Innocence Scout is an example of an innocent child, who throughout the novel loses her innocence, representing themes of growing up, moving quickly into adulthood. At the end of the book Scout asks, “else left for us to learn, except possibly algebra?”. This tells us that Scout has learned a lot about the realities of racism in society and developed a moral strength after being exposed to the entrenched racism in her town, prejudiced conviction, and the murder of Tom Robinson. Prejudice Mr Ewell negatively influences the ideas of race in To Kill a Mockingbird. Mr Ewell believes that accusing Tom Robinson of the rape of his daughter can raise their family stature with belief that race will give their family a powerful advantage in court. After seeing comments made by Mr Ewell such as ""I seen that black n***** yonder ruttin' on my Mayella!" it is clear that his motive is to use race as justification for the accusation made towards Tom Robinson. Furthermore, through numerous inappropriate comments towards black people, Mr Ewell has given negatively influenced ideas of race in To Kill a Mockingbird. BP – example of a case today (George Floyd) To Kill a Mockingbird is relevant regarding the basis of race acting as the predominant factor in the workings of the modern governance and social system. 60 years later, racism still exists, and it is killing people. Twelve months ago, George Floyd, an African American man was brutally murdered by an unmerciful white police officer, Derek Chauvinist when an employee at a local convenience store wrongfully accused Floyd of using a counterfeit bill. The police officer restrained him on the ground, his knee driven into his neck, eventually causing strangulation and death. Sound familiar? Similarly, Tom Robinson, a black man in the novel is falsely convicted of raping Mayella Ewell, a white girl. He is then later murdered when shot numerous times attempting to escape prison whilst awaiting his execution for the false accusation. BP – approach to teaching needs to be changed However, when it is taught in schools through a white perspective, it no longer becomes as relevant as the approach to teaching is insensitive towards people of colour. The novel was banned in some schools because as DW News states “it makes black students uncomfortable”. This tells us that the approach to teaching “To Kill a Mockingbird” in a contemporary classroom doesn’t take the feelings of people of colour into consideration. Reference List http://thatsthetea.siddbetter.com/2020/06/30/to-kill-a-mockingbird-how-this-classic-is-stillrelevant/ https://www.dw.com/en/harper-lees-to-kill-a-mockingbird-still-resonates-60-years-on/a-54068547 https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/mocking/themes/ https://alexanderfarah.medium.com/george-floyd-racism-and-the-enduring-relevance-of-to-kill-amockingbird-8f97ffa07ffa https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/18/books/review/tom-santopietro-why-to-kill-a-mockingbirdmatters.html https://www.yesmagazine.org/issue/travel/opinion/2019/07/09/books-teach-to-kill-a-mockingbirdracism https://time.com/5642773/american-students-taught-race/ https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-no-to-kill-a-mockingbird-shouldnt-be-taught-in2018/ https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/07/22/truths-kill-mockingbird-tells-about-whitepeople/ https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/06/how-talk-kids-about-pandemic-andprotests/613396/
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Relevance of “To Kill a Mocking Bird” in the Current Community
❖ Introduction
Role literature plays in the community.
Themes presented in the novel
❖ How the themes affect the community currently
example of the themes presented in the current world: Cases of racism
Growing up
❖ Role of criticism
Comparison of the Lee’s work to other history sources
❖ Relevance of the Novel
❖ Conclusion


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Argument: Relevance of the Novel, “To Kill a Mocking Bird”
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Relevance of “To Kill a Mocking Bird” in the Current Community
Literature serves a great role in the community. No matter the passage of time, most of
the themes that authors present in different artworks will continue to prevail. Only the manner or
way in which they get presented changes. However, the issues are still similar. In “To Kill a
Mocking Bird”, Har...


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