To Kill a Mockingbird On a rainy day, a man at the bus stop asks for change. The two choices are walking past him avoiding eye contact, or giving him the change with a smile. Before even talking to this man, one may have already made the assumption that he is homeless or a drug addict wanting to buy his next high. But assumptions cannot accurately explain who he is or why he needs money.
Like most places, Maycomb County, Alabama was full of hardworking people of integrity, as well as dishonest, indolent citizens. Atticus, a distinguished lawyer, raised his two kids, Scout and Jem, to be disciplined youth, practicing honest morals. Everyone in Maycomb admired Atticus for his respectable character, just as they all abhorred the Ewell family, for their cheating and lying ways. However, Atticus’ prominent role in town was suddenly challenged when he was chosen to defend in court Tom Robinson, a black man whom Mayella Ewell accused him of taking advantage of her. Eyes that once looked up to Atticus with deep admiration, now glared at him in disgust.
Throughout Tom Robinson’s trial, he sees and recognizes Atticus’s bravery in standing up for Tom, not letting racial biases change his mind. Recognizing that Bob Ewell’s actions were wrong, Jem is distraught at the outcome of the trial: “It was Jem’s turn to cry. His face was streaked with angry tears as we made our way through the cheerful crowd. ‘It ain’t right,’ he muttered all the way to the corner of the square where we found Atticus waiting,” (212). Jem was upset at the fact that Tom, despite all Atticus did to try and protect him, was sent to prison.
Boo Radley is a mysterious recluse who was known for being a delinquent as a teenager. Many people in Maycomb believed the fabrications made about Boo because he isolated himself, a predilection that was unacceptable in Maycomb (Lee 11). The town created a fictitious profile of Boo and misjudged him. In the beginning of the novel, Boo Radley was portrayed as a monster that sparked the interest of Scout and Jem as they made various attempts to try to get Boo to leave his house. As the novel progresses, Scout and Jem realized that “Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time … because he wants to stay inside" (Lee 304).
These actions caused by the society advise Scout about people and the existence of Maycomb. For example, when Scout and Miss Maudie are discussing how some men were born to do undesirable jobs for the world, Scout says, “I always thought Maycomb folks were the best folks in the world, least that’s what they seemed like” (218). Scout is definitely learning the shady elements in reality of Maycomb, from the undesirable jobs to unpleasant people, they come from cowards. Miss Maudie realizes how prejudice citizens are about colored citizens and others unreasonable assumptions. In addition, when Atticus was strolling by the Post Office, Bob Ewell approaches him and spat in his face after stating he would get him if it took him the rest of his life.
After Atticus loses his trial, Jem notices that the Maycomb County justice system is broken and it needs help, “Then it all goes back to the jury, then. We oughta do away with juries. ”(294) This shows that Jem now understands that people are racist in everything and racism needs to be fought. On top of realizing that the justice system is in shambles, Jem realized that Tom Robinson’s case was very good at showing that.
Before Jem knew the degree of how much everyone discriminated black people, he thought that Atticus was going to win the case. He even says, “Don’t fret, Reverend, we’ve won it,” (Lee, 1960, p. 212). After Tom Robinson is ruled guilty on the case, a crying Jem asks, “How could they do it, how could they?” (Lee, 1960, p. 216). The first quote shows that Jem thinks that Atticus clearly has more compelling evidence and doesn’t take into account that Tom Robinson is black and because of that, he’s going to lose the court case.
To Kill a Mockingbird is a story that takes place during the Great Depression in a small town located in southern Georgia in the 1930s. The book focuses on Jean Louise “Scout” and Jeremy Atticus “Jem” and their coming of age and the major events that made the two grow up. One of the events was the trial of the Mockingbird, Tom Robinson, in which their father, Atticus Finch, was defending Tom, a man of color. Mockingbirds are used throughout the book to represent people that were harmed by the society even though they were innocent. There is a common misinterpretation of the meaning behind the Mockingbird leading many to believe that Scout is the Mockingbird in the story. Even though Scout displayed innocence but still was excluded from games with Dill and Jem because of her gender, Harper Lee did not intend for her to be perceived as a Mockingbird. On the contrary, Tom Robinson and Boo Radley are portrayed as mockingbirds, birds recognized for their innocence but also targeted.
He is accountable for creating many themes as well affecting the actions and development of other characters. Furthermore, he plays a major role in the maturation of Jem and Scout. Jem, Scout, and Dill are fascinated by the rumors of Boo Radley around them. People in Maycomb perceive Boo as someone who, “dined on raw squirrels and cats” and “the teeth he had were yellow and rotten”(16). This quote shows the people’s impression of Boo and how they affect the childrens in the book.
Atticus continues to remain optimistic although, he hopes that the jury will change and look past the racial difference. Atticus sees how the town of Maycomb has changed due to the great depression saying “Cunninghams are country folks, farmers, and the crash hit them the hardest”. (Lee 33) Having a character such as Mr. Finch is important to the plot, someone who can see the town of Maycomb for how it truly is. When Boo Radley saves Jem and Scout from Mr. Ewell it begins a new relationship between Atticus and another outcast, Boo Radley.
Boo was sentenced from an early age to be a “monster” of sorts due to his past dealings with the law and his time spent in solitary confinement. This story that is invented by the people of Maycomb alters Boo Radley’s true appearance greatly, deeming him to be something he is
Although it is clear to a lot of people who live in Maycomb that Tom Robinson did not actually rape Mayella Ewell the judge still goes on and decides he is guilty. This is truly not fair. Atticus explains to Jem, “No jury in this part of the world’s going to say, We think you’re guilty, but not very, on a charge like that. It was either a straight acquittal or nothing.”
The book "To Kill a Mockingbird" describes different classes of people as been rich and poor. People classify themselves differently because some people are in poverty, while some are wealthy. Most wealthy people help the poor, but the main people they help are the Cunningham 's family. They help the Cunningham 's family because they are willing to work and they are hard working. People never help the Ewell 's family because they are rude, lazy, and they waste their money on alcohol. The Finch 's family help the African American because racism occur during that time. The people treated the African American as low self esteem people. The poor people are in poverty because of the Great Depression and they couldn 't have enough money to provide
In Maycomb, people fear what they do not know and what is unusual to them, hence shaping the rumours of Boo Radley to cope with the unknown. Considering he is unseen from the public eye, and has a messy past, many begin to fantasize what is happening with him currently by constructing stories. Anyone who claims that they know information on Boo, have no proof or firsthand experience to support it as the truth. Scout knows that Jem’s information source on Boo Radley is from another individual and their fantasies, “So Jem received most of his information from Miss Stephanie Crawford, a neighbourhood scold, who said she knew the whole thing.”
This family isn’t treated fairly because of the gossip which has been spread about them. Boo (formally Arthur) Radley is thought to be a terrible man who sneaks around at night, looking in neighbor’s windows, spying on everyone. Every crime committed in Maycomb is said to be Boo’s work. “People said he went out at night when the moon was down, and peeped in windows…”