Books and Movies Reviews

How is racism represented in Mississipi Burning

Racism is presented in the film Mississipi Burning which is directed by Alan Parker through various techniques of symbolism, portrayal of the idea of the "idealistic" white South American society cherished by the people of Jessop county and finally with its racist segregation of white and black Americans. Links with To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee can be seen by the similarities of the two white societies, the similar views and the same level of hypocrisy of the people living in these towns.
The veryfirst scene of the film portrays two symbolic bubblers, each with a sign depicting either "coloured" or "white" which clearly represents a segregation of white and black Americans. In addition to this, the conditions of the white American bubblers were significantly better, indicating that black Americans are a more inferior class. This hint of hierarchy between the races shows a clear sign of the views taken by the white society and the situation that the two protagonists of the film, Ward and Anderson, are faced with. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, social hierarchy is also an important theme. There is clear discrimination in the society when we see that Negroes are, despite their many admirable qualities, are considered lower than the Ewells, who are thought to be the trash of the white society.
Racism is further indicated in the differences of the living conditions of the white and black Americans. The white society is able to live in solid and stable buildings near the town and the Negroes were left to live in shacks, or small wooden cottages far from the town that were quick to burn. We see this segregation clearly in a scene in the film where Ward and Anderson, enter a restaurant and see that the white people are sitting at tables, and the black, sitting at benches. This is much like the initial image of the two separate bubblers.
Jessop county, much like Maycomb, is a town of …


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