To Kill A Mockingbird Social Inequality Analysis

1171 Words5 Pages
Lee, Daeun Allie

How does Lee vividly capture the effects of inequality on the citizens of Maycomb county in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’?

Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ takes place in the 1930s, where severe tension between different social class existed in forms of inequality. Discrimination and tensity between social class is emphasized among the remains of an economic depression and the hardship of the community. The Maycomb County, continuously divided into illogical social class based on wealth, race and family background, presents the immoral and egocentric consequences of discrimination and inequality through the eyes of a child, Jean Louise Finch, or Scout. By adopting child’s view, Lee is able to capture the effects of
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Hence, Scout functions both as a curious questioner and an observer in the novel and with her questioning, Lee effectively sets the reader on the discovery of the formation and consequences of inequality. For example, after Atticus accepts Tom Robinson’s case, Scout receives appalling comments about her family from school and even from her cousins that ‘Now he 's turned out a nigger-lover we 'll never be able to walk the streets of Maycomb again. He ruining the family that 's what he 's doin '. The phrase ‘never be able to walk the streets of Maycomb’ resembles how Atticus accepting the case automatically made his family’s status and reputation inferior and turned what seems to be the entire town against the Finch. The fact that even their relatives and the children are attacking the family with words and fists emphasizes how racism and racial inequality exist deep rooted in the town. Thus, Scout is directly influenced and discriminated against by racial prejudice and although she does not fully understand the meaning of the phrase ‘nigger-lover’, she is infuriated by the way people speak towards her family. However, she is yet to fully understand Atticus 's decision of fighting an undefeatable battle by defending Tom, in his attempt at fulfilling his belief of fundamental human rights and equality. Yet, by setting Scout’s position in what the black…show more content…
A prime example of her progress is her encounters with Boo Radley. Boo is transformed from the victim of his father’s abuse into a ‘malevolent phantom’ that never comes out of his haunted house and is socially discriminated against the entire town by the town’s vicious rumours and social prejudice. Scout herself, practices a form of discrimination as she accepts the town’s presumptions about Boo, and makes him the subject of many of the children’s challenges and horror stories. Scout describes how ‘People said [Boo] went out at night [...] and peeped in windows. Any stealthy small crimes committed in Maycomb were his work’. The phrase ‘people said’ relates to her innocence of developing the gossip directly to her understanding of Boo. Also, the word ‘stealthy’, meaning acting in a careful manner not to be seen or heard, implies that the people had no direct interaction with Boo, but infer his story from assumptions and rumours of the failure to understand and the obscurity of his situation. Because the stories are nocturnal, also the connotation of mystery and fear, its accuracy is not only questionable but again symbolises how Boo has developed into a spectral being. Thus, Boo Radley becomes an irresistible enigma and source of adventure for the children, but also becomes Scout’s lesson on judging others based on their surface
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