Have you ever heard of the famous Japanese kid’s game Fruit and Rice Ball? In the book, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, there are many different examples of dehumanization shown to different people. In my opinion, the people are being unfair and they shouldn’t be treated differently because we are all human and no one is perfect. The characters in To Kill A Mockingbird are faced with dehumanization through religion, criminal accusations, and because of their skin color.
|At Sushi House, Alameda|
When you got to church, isn’t everyone usually treated the same way? Well that’s not the case in To Kill A Mockingbird. Some people weren’t allowed to worship in the same church. “Lula stopped, but she said, ‘You ain’t got no business bringing white children here – they got their church, we got our own. It is our church ain’t it, Miss Cal?’” (p.119) When you go to a church, isn’t it just a church. The same way a person is a person and god is god. There is no difference between anyone. Everyone was created equally so why should one man be able to stop another man from worshiping because he is different. “I wants to know why you bringing white children to a n-word church.” God made everyone. You should not be able to discriminate against got. Saying that the African Americans can’t worship in the church is saying that they aren’t good enough. If god wanted to stop someone from believing and worshiping him then he would stop them himself, not give that right to a person. When someone goes to god, it’s because they know they can be accepted. No matter who they are or what they did. The characters think they are so superior to god that they can stop god’s people from worshiping him. This is unfair to every religion. Not letting someone practice their religion implies that you are better than the other person and that they are not good enough compared to you. It is considered dehumanization just as accusing an innocent for a crime he did not commit.
|Interact Crab Feed at Boys and Girls Club, El Sobrante|
Many people are discriminated against everyday because of the way they look. In To Kill A Mockingbird, colored people are treated differently than the whites. They are thought out to be bad in their community and are dehumanized by the whites. “’I’ve asked this county for fifteen years to clean out than n-word nest down yonder, they’re dangerous to live around ‘sides devaluin’ my property—‘” (p.175) In this quote, the white guy, Mr. Ewell, is dehumanizing the blacks by saying that they aren’t worth much in comparison to the whites. They are so bad that the property they live on has decreased tremendously in value because they live on it and they’re black. “’I heard her say ‘It’s time somebody’s taught ‘em a lesson, they were gettin’ way above themselves an’ the next thing they can do is marry us.’ Jem, how can you hate Hitler so bad an’ then turn around and be ugly about folks right at home…’” (p.247) Miss Gates, Scout’s teacher, was talking about the blacks like they were aliens. She was disgusted by them. At the end of the quote, Scout is comparing Miss Gates’ dislike for Hitler to Miss Gates’ behavior towards blacks. Hitler doesn’t like the Jews and that’s why she hates Hitler but her behavior towards the African Americans are the same as Hitler’s toward the Jews.
Criminal accusations, religion, and skin color are some ways dehumanization is shown in To Kill A Mockingbird. In the book, I believe that treating people with different values and opinions than you is unjust. Tom Robinson as well as the other characters such as Jem and Scout are main targets of dehumanization. They are viewed upon as unworthy and different. The white people need to open up their eyes as Atticus has done and accept the African Americans as their equal. If the whites continue to treat the colored like dirt then Karma will bite them in the butt, the blacks will get revenge on their own, or got will eventually punish them himself.