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"it is old men who declare war vut it the youth who fight and die -- mason smith" - Inxaxaxaacaf

To Kill a Mockingbird - 5

  • Date Submitted: 01/14/2013 04:55 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 73.9 
  • Words: 725
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In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, the word "nigger" is used by many
characters. People use these words because of their insecurity, innocence and a craving for
power. When people are insecure, they will blame others to gain comfort. Sometimes, the youth
would have innocence or ignorance and they can offend people without knowing it. Another
reason to use the word "nigger" is for gain of power. Humanity always have the crave for power.
Either way, the word "nigger" is used in a negative way portraying negative attention to who
ever uses it.
Though “nigger” is not an innocent word, there is some innocence connected to the use
of the word by some people in the book. Scout, the narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird, uses this
word to paraphrase what she heard. “A nigger-lover. I ain’t very sure what it means, but the way
Francis said it- tell you one thing right now, Uncle Jack, I’ll be- I swear before God if I’ll sit there
and let him say somethin’ to Atticus.” (Lee,1960, page 86).She did not even understand what
“nigger” meant, but she somehow knew it was bad so she beat up Francis for it. Francis
probably did not even know that “nigger” was an offensive and disparaging term for a person of
color. He probably heard this term from his mother or father, or some other relative and wanted
to use it to offend Scout and to get her attention. Children are ignorant of many things and
sometimes parents can teach them the wrong things. Ignorance can often be a consequence of
innocence.
Humanity is always looking for power. As for Mr. Ewell, he is an uneducated fellow who
puts others down to make him seem to have more power. Since he is light skinned, he believes
that he has power over Tom Robinson since Tom is a dark man. This gives Mr.Ewell more
confidence. “I seen that black nigger younder ruttin...” (Lee,1960, page 173). Mr.Ewell even
speaks in an unintelligent way showing he may be just yearning for power. He uses words like
“rutting”...

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