Atrial by jury essay

Judge Horton lived with his wife Anna, his nineteen-year-old stepson, and his two young sons in a six-room home built in 1849 by the great-great uncle of his wife.  The white two-story home at 200 Hobbs Street, with its black-shuttered small-paned windows and colonnaded porches, stood at the end of a walkway lined with twelve mountain cedars.  During the Civil War, it was the home of occupying Union officers.  On a closet door in a corner room was an inscription--still visible today--left by the Yankees: "Three cheers for Lincoln--Nov. 7, 1864.” 13

The black community in Maycomb is quite idealized, especially in the scenes at the black church and in the “colored balcony” during the trial. Lee’s portrayal of the black community isn’t unrealistic or unbelievable; it is important to point out, however, that she emphasizes all of the good qualities of the community without ever pointing out any of the bad ones. The black community is shown to be loving, affectionate, welcoming, pious, honest, hardworking, close-knit, and forthright. Calpurnia and Tom, members of this community, possess remarkable dignity and moral courage. But the idealization of the black community serves an important purpose in the novel, heightening the contrast between victims and victimizers. The town’s black citizens are the novel’s victims, oppressed by white prejudice and forced to live in an environment where the mere word of a man like Bob Ewell can doom them to life in prison, or even execution, with no other evidence. By presenting the blacks of Maycomb as virtuous victims—good people made to suffer—Lee makes her moral condemnation of prejudice direct, emphatic, and explicit.

Atrial by jury essay

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