To Kill A Mockingbird, Not Rated E for Everyone

Hello! It has definitely been a while since I have had the pleasure of returning to my corner of the world-wide web and indulging myself in a period of freedom of speech.

English class.

I didn’t know it was possible to make writing a negative thing, but yes writing can be awful.  I’m sure anyone who has gone through the stresses of English class would know that reading  the novel To Kill A Mockingbird is mandatory. The story of a black man who was accused of raping a white girl. In my English class we were supposed to write an essay about one of 4 possible subjects and so I chose to write about why To Kill A Mockingbird is not appropriate for secondary students. I put such effort into this essay I thought why not have a larger audience to share with so without further ado, why To Kill A Mockingbird is inappropriate for secondary schools.

*Side note to any students who came here looking for an essay to copy and paste (I tried doing that as well  haha) please do not. The assignment was given to you to learn something. If you’d like you can use the three points I listed but try coming up with material on your own you’d be surprised!  I wrote this at 3am the day before it was due and my mom just edited so it didn’t sound as much like it was written at three in the morning, anyways good luck with your studies!


To Kill A MockingBird,

Not Rated E for Everyone

 

Consider whether To Kill A Mockingbird is an appropriate novel for secondary school students. Provide three arguments to support the position you take.

 

The novel To Kill A Mockingbird, is not appropriate for secondary school students, because it does not fully explore the issues it raises; it overuses profanity; and it is outdated for today’s youth (aka Generation X)

 

First, the main theme of the book tries to show the issue of racism, through the jury of a black man named Tom Robinson. This is shown in an uninteresting way through a mistrial of a black person with a wrongful outcome due to a racist jury.  This book deals with racism as it was raised in history, in the legal context. Over time, the issue of racism has changed and evolved and presented in many different areas.  In the past 87 years here are some other examples of changes faced : August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote.  Though actual pants were sometimes seen on women in the late 1800s and in the early part of the 20th century, it was not until the 1970s that the wearing of trousers by women was accepted for business or dress occasions .   Today, racism is merely an example of one area where injustice occurs. In fact, there are injustices in many parts of life. When this book is part of the curriculum to teach children about racism, they are taught about slavery (Calpurnia), segregation (black church), and false accusations (Tom Robinson’s trial). The book shows a jury made largely of insensitive and uneducated people. Today, communities are very diverse and today juries would hopefully reflect an accused person on a trial. But unfortunately, in today’s world, the views of the insensitive can go beyond the courtroom and are now out in social media for all to read! For example, Steve Clevenger tweeted “[Black Lives Matter] is pathetic once again! Obama you are pathetic once again! Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!” (September 2016). The book To Kill A Mockingbird shows the racism in which a black man in accused but there are various different forms of racism. Harper lee doesn’t cover the harassment element of racism, the arbitrary elements, denying access to information, and unequal distribution of opportunities.

Second, the words used in this book are very controversial. Reading the N word so often can make people very uncomfortable because it is not a word used in today’s society and we rarely see or hear this word today. What kind of message of we giving the young readers. That it is okay to use this word? Parents might be upset that their children are exposed to this language. And maybe it’s not the schools place to teach their children controversial or vulgar words. Is using profanity teaching kids new words? Is it promoting aggressiveness? Does it need to be included to make its point? These are all questions that are raised when reading the profanity in the book.

Finally, the book takes place almost a century ago. It is hard for today’s youth to connect to events so long ago. Many students cannot relate to Tom Robinson’s trial. The book was written for adults to see racism in the perspective of a young and innocent child. By the time students have reached secondary school, they are well aware of issues of racism, sexism, homophobia etc. The book is simplistic and redundant, because these issues have been explored before secondary school. The events of racism were targeted towards an audience of readers experiencing or seeing racism in the 1930s. Today we have technology which introduces us to harassment between countries as opposed to being confined in a small town like in To Kill A Mockingbird. We as youth are less familiar with the idea of connected villages and face to face racism because today, the majority of conflicts are in form of cyberbullying where attackers hide behind the keys of a keyboard. Adults in the 1960s didn’t have the technology today. Seventy three percent of adult internet users have seen someone be harassed in some way online and 40% have personally experienced it.  In my opinion, being unable to connect or understand a book makes it harder to read and less enjoyable. There are plenty of modern books that can be used to teach racism for example; The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace  by Jeff Hobbs, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Citizen by Claudia Rankine, and The Sellout by Paul Beatty.

In conclusion, To Kill A Mockingbird is not appropriate for secondary students. It is a misrepresentation in a way, its language is not appropriate for younger readers, and it is not targeted towards younger audience. Perhaps it is time for this book to be retired from school curriculum. Just my opinion.

-Alex

 

Mr F if you have found this I didnt copy it, this is my website, it is merely an alias name. If you need proof that it is not copied just contact or ask me in class and I will log onto my website. Thanks!

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