Racial Inequality & Attitudes to Race

The key theme in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is racial Inequality & Attitudes to Race.  This page directs you to specific parts of the novel and provides some key quotes for an essay on racism in Maycombe.  

N.B. Page numbers refer to The Arrow Books 2010 edition.  See the bottom of the page for the list of chapters by page number.

General point: no black people hold positions of responsibility in Maycomb.  They are maids, cooks, handymen, garbage collectors.  Reverend Sykes is the exception but his influence does not extend beyond the black community.

4

we were licked a hundred years before we started

85

Cecil Jacobs: that nigger oughta hang from the water tank

98

Maycomb’s usual disease

104

[about Calpurnia] She’s supposed to go round in back

113

Mrs Dubose: your father’s no better than the niggers and trash he works for

115

a Confederate army relic

120

‘nigger-lover,,,slipped into usage with some people like ourselves.’

130

Calpurnia: ‘I don’t want anybody sayin’ I don’t look after my children’

131

the men stood back and took off their hats; the women crossed their arms at their waists, weekday gestures of respectful attention

131

‘I wants to know why you bring white chillun to nigger church’ … they got their church, we got our’n

136

Helen’s finding it hard work to get work these days

137

Calpurnia: Can’t but about four folks in First Purchase read

138

Calpurnia taught Zeebo to read with Blackstone’s Commentaries

138

Calpurnia led a modest double life

160

Link Deas: You’ve got everything to lose from this Atticus.  I mean everything.

162

The Ku Klux’s gone,’ said Atticus. ‘It’ll never come back.’

166

[the mob go after Tom Robinson]

172

‘Don’t talk like that in front of them’ … You said ‘Braxton Underwood despises negroes’ right in front of her.’

176

In a far corner of the square the negroes sat quietly

177

[Mixed children] don’t belong anywhere

178

around here once you have a drop of negro blood, that makes you all black,

180

Atticus aims to defend him.  That’s what I don’t like about it.

180

The negroes, having waited for the white people…, began to come in.

181

Four negroes rose and gave us their front-row seats

217

boy

218

You  felt sorry for her, you felt sorry  for her? … Below us, nobody liked Tom Robinson’s answer.

221

Dolphus Raymond: Some folks don’t like the way I live … I don’t care if they don’t like it … I try to give ’em a reason

222

Dolphus Raymond: things haven’t caught up with [Dill’s] instinct yet

224

Atticus: [Mayella] has merely broken a rigid and time honoured code of our society … her desire was stronger than the code she was breaking …

225

she did something that in our society is unspeakable

225

the evil assumption – that all Negroes lie, that all  Negroes are basically immoral beings, and that all Negro men are not to be trusted around our women

237

Miss Stephanie: Wasn’t [being in the balcony] right close up there with all those -?

237

We’re so rarely called on to be Christians

238

Atticus Finch won’t win, he can’t win … we’re making a step – it’s just a baby-step, but it’s a step

240

nigger-lovin’ bastard

257

Mrs Merriweather: some of ’em in this town thought they were doing the right thing a while back, but all they did was stir ’em up.

265

To Maycomb, Tom’s death was typical.  Typical of a nigger to cut and run.  Typical of a nigger’s mentality to have no plan, no thought for the future, just run blind first chance he saw.  …  You know how they are.  Easy come, easy go. … the veneer’s mighty thin.  Nigger always comes out in ’em.

266

Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed.

270

We are a democracy … over here we don’t believe in persecuting any body.

272

it’s time somebody taught them a lesson, they were getting way above themselves, an’ the next thing they think they can do is marry us [Scout relaying Miss Gates].

Chapters by page number

PAGES

CHAPTERS

PART ONE

3-16

1

17-24

2

25-35

3

36-45

4

46-55

5

55-64

6

64-70

7

70-82

8

82-98

9

98-109

10

110-124

11

PART TWO

127-139

12

140-148

13

148-159

14

159-171

15

171-182

16

183-197

17

197-209

18

209-220

19

220-227

20

227-233

21

234-239

22

239-251

23

251-262

24

262-266

25

266-273

26

273-280

27

280-294

28

294-298

29

298-305

30

305-end

31

For more of my pages on ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, please hover your cursor over the Lee tab at the top of the page.

 

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