Have you read “Just Mercy”, the best-selling novel by Bryan Stevenson? This memoir was published in 2014 and ever since, it has been read by millions and frequently discussed in academic circles. It’s an educational novel that you shouldn’t miss out on, and chances are you’ll be tasked to write an essay on it as some point of your education.
From the book’s plot to the Just Mercy book characters, we’ll discuss all about the novel and share with you the key things you can learn from it.
Need Some Inspiration for Writing?
Students are often assigned literature for their academic assignments. They are asked to read books like this one and write an analysis of the same. If you are tasked to pick a topic based on this novel, you can get inspired by reading some essay examples. The Just Mercy essay topics and analysis will give you an idea as well as provide you with different points of view about the book. You’ll find a lot of information about the Just Mercy characters, the plot, and the strong messaging in the book.
The examples can help you come up with an idea, and below in this article, you’ll learn about the key messages that the author shared in his novel.
Just Mercy’s Issues: The Things You Can Learn from It
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption is a memoir written by an American attorney. It documents his career as he defended disadvantaged people. The main idea behind it is to show the readers how disadvantaged people are treated by the system, tell you their stories, and build more acceptance and higher understanding.
Soon after the book was published, it was turned into a movie that you can also watch for some inspiration.
Let’s talk about the plot and issues now.
The book starts in 1987 in Monroeville, Alabama. The author was driving home from work and on the road, he witnesses a black man being ambushed by a police unit of all-white officers. The man is arrested, tried, and soon after – sentenced to death. He was innocent.
What follows is the story of Stevenson, a lawyer that is young and relentless in his attempt to exonerate McMillian and bring justice to the system. In his pages, you’ll read about people trapped within the justice system, speaking about the urgent need to correct the mass incarceration of many innocent people of color.
This doesn’t just speak of discrimination. It shows that disadvantaged people have inadequate legal assistance and that prosecutors are indifferent to innocence in such cases.
As he looks for gaps and inconsistencies in the evidence against McMillian, the lawyer tries to prove that he didn’t murder a white teenager. This starts a battle against the judicial system, a battle against inequalities and racism.
As the story unfolds, you’ll get more insight into the humanity of the individuals that are unjustly incarcerated. It’s the reason why the book is so powerful – its vivid, deep presentation of the characters sticks to the memory and gives people a closer perspective into the life of these individuals.
When we talk of issues, we talk of an array of things that make the justice system unequal. We also get to witness the complexity and resilience of a lawyer that believes in justice, as well as learn about the strong relationships he formed with his clients. In the midst of all that inequality, we witness a person with everyday kindness and defiance of the system that dehumanizes the black people.
Lastly, the book conveys how important community and family is, even when people are incarcerated and on the inside – perhaps even more when this happens. The audience is shown as a supportive black community and a loving family who stand behind McMillan. They offer alibis and testimony to prove his innocence despite the risk to their lives.
The year in the book is not so far away. While the system has improved greatly in the time that’s passed, this cannot be resolved so fast. You can talk about the system today and compare it to that of before, discuss the white supremacy and the parts of the legal system that still resemble the past.
Finally, we should note that this isn’t a story about a single lawyer. It’s a story about all people. It’s a story of the responsibility that we have toward one another if we want to live in a just world where people are given the same rights to defend themselves.