Social Inequality In To Kill A Mockingbird Analysis

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Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird famously said in his closing arguments: "You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some negro men are not to be trusted around women- black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and no particular race of men." (pg 232) What Atticus is trying to convey is a foreign concept to most people in Maycomb county. Atticus is trying to convey a point of equality and no prejudice in a world of social inequality which, as one can imagine, didn 't go over so well. To kill a mockingbird tells a story of a county whose morals are masked by the great depression, a county whose judgment is masked by racism and social stigma. In to kill a mockingbird,…show more content…
Throughout the novel Harper Lee uses symbolism of many things to strengthen the theme of social inequality. The title of the book is the most obvious use of symbolism. The mockingbird is an animal meant for pleasure. It sings a beautiful song and hurts nothing and no one. When she receives an air gun as a gift, Scout is instructed to leave the mockingbirds alone for “its a sin to kill a mockingbird” and they pose no threat. Lee uses the mockingbird as a symbol of purity, innocence and harmlessness. Tom Robinson is a black male “Old Mr. Bob Ewell accused... of rapin‘ his girl” (Mayella Ewell a young white girl) “an’ had him arrested an‘ put in jail—” Though all evidence points to her father, Robert Ewell Tom is convicted. In this situation, Tom is the mockingbird; shot down even though he has done no harm to anyone. Harper continues to address this theme when scout wears pants instead of dresses. She is an independent girl that doesn’t follow the social norms of wearing dresses and playing with dolls (Despite her aunt 's protest). Instead, she is a tomboy and enjoys playing outside, getting dirty and sports. But according to her aunt she “wasn’t supposed to be doing things that required pants” The pants represent her independent thinking and ability to express herself, something many girls were not doing at the time. Additionally, it is this way of thinking that allows Scout to see beyond the color of someone’s skin and accept the social outcasts.…show more content…
In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee demonstrates that social inequality breaks down a society through the use of conflict, symbolism and irony. Social inequality plays a pivotal role in the novel because the whole conflict between Bob and Tom is wrapped in it. From the first accusation to the final conviction inequality is intertwined in every paragraph, every word. To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel that stands the test of time because while our society has made improvements, inequality will never truly go away. This novel displays characters you relate to, ones you despise, and all that you fall in love with. People love this book for a plethora of reasons, but the main reason I come to find is the wisdom laced into every theme, and quotes that will send you deep
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