Poverty In To Kill A Mockingbird

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“‘it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”’

“The varmints had a lean time of it, for the Ewells gave the dump a thorough gleaning every day, and the fruits of their industry (those that were not eaten) made the plot of ground around the cabin look like the playhouse of an insane child: what passed for a fence was bits of tree-limbs, broomsticks and tool shafts, all tipped with rusty hammer-heads, snaggle-toothed rake heads, shovels, axes and grubbing hoes, held on with pieces of barbed wire” (Lee 228). Sleepy Maycomb, like other Southern towns, suffers considerably during the Great Depression. Poverty reaches from the privileged families, like the Finches, to the Negroes and “white trash” Ewells, who live on the outskirts of town. Harper Lee paints
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There are a couple of characters that represent this theme. For example, the Ewell family is very poor and have terrible morals. The children in the Ewell family only go to the first day of school and are very rude to everyone. “‘You ain’t sendin’ me home missus. I was on the verge of leavin’--I done done my time for this year”’ (Lee 35). The Ewells rarely ever bathe and they are disrespectful, unlike the Cunninghams who are respectful to people who can afford special things, and they always pay the money they borrow back. “He had none today nor would he have any tomorrow or the next day. He had probably never seen three quarters together at the same time in his life” (Lee 26). Although the Cunninghams are very poor they are humble and have morals. Poverty influences both of these characters very differently. For the Ewells, poverty makes them rude and ungrateful for what they have. Poverty affects the Cunninghams much different. It makes them more appreciative about what they have and what people give them. Poverty is not the only major theme that is represented by more than one character in the…show more content…
Each one is represented by a character or characters in the book that represent the deeper meaning behind each of these themes. Poverty can be seen in the characters of the Ewell and the Cunningham Families. Each is poor, but the Ewells are rude and disrespectful while the Cunninghams are grateful for what they have, and respect the upper classes. The main example of racism is Tom Robinson, who is fighting for his innocence in a case that he is most likely not going to win. Lastly domestic violence is the last major theme in To Kill a Mockingbird. Mayella Ewell is the primary character who represents domestic violence, after she has been beaten and raped by who most people think is Tom Robinson, but Atticus believes it is Mr. Ewell who actually abused her. In conclusion, Poverty, racism, and domestic violence are three major themes represented by characters in the novel To Kill a
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