Skyelre WittMrs. KirklandEnglish I15 December 2017To Kill A Mockingbird desensitization What did the writer do to tell about real world problems? Now you may think this is a start to a bad joke but it is the story of a great book titled To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. In To Kill A Mockingbird and during the Civil Rights Movement, they both demonstrate when injustice becomes the norm people become desensitized to it such as Tom Robinson’s case, and the segregated churches in the book, and also the segregated public venues, and the civil rights infringement on the blacks during the civil rights movement.
First off I’m going to talk about how desensitization happens in To Kill A Mockingbird on many occasions. The first time we see it is at Cal’s church, “Negroes worshipped in it on Sundays and white men gambled in it on weekdays”(Lee 134). That shows that white men thought of this as normal and the blacks couldn’t do a thing about it so it also became normal to them and they just lived with it not caring anymore. The next time we see this is during Tom’s case when he is on trial for raping Mayella and Jem, Scout, and Dill where all up on the colored balcony, “For some reason Dill had started crying and couldn’t stop; quietly at first, then his sobs were heard by several people in the balcony”(Lee 225). Dill was crying because the people down where the white folks were and up where they were sitting with the colored folks were not even batting an eye when Mr. Gillmer was treating Tom the way he was and it made Dill really upset. So in To Kill A Mockingbird there where many cases of desensitization where people other than Jem, Dill, Scout, Atticus and the rest of the Finch family, don’t see and only are like that because it is normal to them. Then we have the second point about how desensitization also took effect during the civil rights movement.
During the civil rights movement public venues were closed to all black people much like the churches in the book, “The oppression of blacks manifested itself…known as the Jim Crow customs and legislation…segregated public venues such as trains, restaurants, schools, theaters, beaches, and cemeteries”(Alvah). The whites were so blinded by their ways and never tried to stop what was happening around them because it was normal and people don’t like change so no one changed it until the blacks got fed up with how they were treated.
Then next we have is the civil rights infringement of the black people. “Infringements upon blacks’ civil rights did occur in the north and west, although to a lot lesser extent than in the south”(Alvah). The infringement upon their civil rights during and after WW1.
The blacks emigrated to industrial cities and some of the white supremacists groups followed them and stopped them from being able to compete for jobs and even voting. Blacks encountered many signs that said “white only” covering business and were hired only as unskilled laborers.So in conclusion I showed how desensitization was used in To Kill A Mockingbird and during the Civil Rights Movement and how people were oblivious to what was happening around them such as Tom’s case or the closing of public venues.
I am proud to say America has changed its ways and we are seeing a strong change. Works CitedAlvah, Donna. “Civil Rights Movement.” Dictionary of American History.
Ed. Stanley I. Kutler.
3rd ed. Vol. 2. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2003. 200-206. U.
S. History in Context. Web. 6 March 2017.Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird.
New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2010. Print.