What does being a nigger-lover means to the residents of Maycomb County? Why is this a powerful insult?
In literature, the word “nigger” is usually replaced for the “N-word.” Usually, it refers to black or dark-skinned people, in the present, being one of the most racially offensive words. It was commonly used in the past, but the last century, it appears to be a word which is used each day with more frequency. It has been started to be used by black people, referring to other black people, but it is just acceptable when said by people within this community. When this word is used by someone who’s not black, referring to someone who is black, it is considered racist comment.
To Kill A Mockingbird, a novel written by Harper Lee has been banned in different schools due to the use of the N-word. Harper Lee uses this word for the purpose of providing readers a clearer view of the context and values o the community in which the novel is based on.
Atticus, as a lawyer, is defending a black man, Tom Robinson who has been accused of raping a white girl. In the novel, the narrator’s father, Atticus, is frequently called by his friends and neighbors a “nigger-lover” for defending Tom Robinson. This term was not only derogatory towards black people, but also a derogatory term against the white people who supported blacks. This term reinforces racism which was lived in that era.
In my opinion, been called a “nigger-lover” was such an insult because blacks were seen as a lower class, they were seen as an inferior community with no value. A white who is called to be a “nigger-lover” instantly seen as inferior, even though his/her race; you become categorized as a poor, dirty, lazy, and invaluable person, since defending or liking black people was unacceptable during the 1930’s.