Abrams (2009) statesthat literature has become the expression of human’s thought and emotion.
Theword literature derived from the Latin ‘Litteraturae’ which means ‘writing’.According to Luken (2003) literature is described as the part of writing workswhich exist because imaginative artistic qualities. Novel is one of literarywork that tells the story of its character’s life. Sometimes, topic that istold in the novel comes from the experience or imagination of its author.Racism becomes the most discussed topic in the novel because the problemrelated to human races is always exist.The term racism refersto negative action and treatment against certain people because some racesclaim that only their races are the best. One of the factors that usuallydetermine the superiority is the skin color. This factor raises the supremacyideology which spread the idea that race with darker skin is inferior thanother race in the term of quality and capability.
This idea makes many whitepeople believe that they are the best race and superior than other race. Whenit comes to the novel, many authors raise the issue about how white peoplediscriminate other races, especially African-American. African-American is anethnic group in America whose ancestors came from Africa. The terms that peopleusually use to call this ethnic including negro, blacks, nigger, colored andAfro-America. African-American have always become the victim of racism. If itis seen from the historical background, this problem cannot be separated fromthe immigration of African-American people. According to Foner (2006), between1492 and 1820 there were 7.7 million Africans are brought by the Britishcolonizer to the New World to work and there were thousands of Africans aretransported to America to be slaves.
At that time, white people as their masterignored their rights as human being, so that their rights were completelylimited. African-American became inferior group and they are not allowed toparticipate in political, economic and social developments in America. In JimCrow era, African-American had to face a segregation, they were separated fromwhite people in the term of public places, school, church and other facilities.Even after Jim Crow era is over, African-American still have to experienceracism. GoSet a Watchman by Harper Lee is a novel that talksabout racism that is done by white people to African-American in 1950s. Thisnovel shows how the racism still exist in Maycomb, Alabama, South America afterthe Supreme Court decision of Brown v.Board of Education case.
The Supreme Court declared that laws establishingseparate public school for black and white students to be unconstitutional. Thesetting of this novel is 20 years after ToKill The Mockingbird novel. The main character, Jean Louise or Scout haswatched how racism happen toward an innocent black man when she was 6 yearsold. She is now 26 years old who stays in New York. One day, she has to go backto her hometown Maycomb.
She realizes that Maycomb becomes worst and even herfather has changed. Her father, Atticus who used to defend black man in court haschanged to be racist after the Supreme Court decision. The writer aims toanalyze the racism that occurs in the novel because the problem is not onlyhappen in the novel but also in the real life.
Harper Lee from her novelportrayed the real condition of her environment into the novel. Thus, it couldbe said that this novel represents the real social condition of South Americaand how white people react when the Supreme Court declared the decision of Brown v. Board of Education case in1950s. To analyze the novel, the writer uses sociological approach becauseracism is one of humanity phenomenon that occurs in society. Sociologicalapproach is the way seeing literature as the sociological condition in reallife, this is why this approach is the most suitable approach to be used, sinceliterature is a reflection of author’s social life and since the authorreflects the condition of society in accordance with her view and ideology.