To Kill A Mockingbird Themes “‘You never really understand a person until you consider his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it’” (Lee 39). This quote from the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee includes many characters who suffer from the Great Depression and other conflicts that break out in the town of Maycomb. Racism, poverty, and domestic violence attend in the book and continue their way through to create rising conflict between the people of Maycomb county. Atticus Finch is a lawyer of Maycomb and a father of two children, Jean Louise Finch, also known as Scout, and Jem Finch. Atticus, a white man, fights to defend Tom Robinson, a black man, in a case consisting of domestic violence. Throughout …show more content…
The Cunningham’s have nothing to offer and the majority of their lives they refuse to take anything that they can’t pay back. “‘Atticus’... ‘Are we as poor as the Cunningham’s?’” (Lee 27). This shows that people don’t think that they are actually poor until they are “Cunningham” poor. The family who has to use their money scarcely, will not take money or “donations” from anyone without knowing for sure that they can pay them back. Another example of the theme poverty in the novel is the Ewell family. The Ewell family is the opposite of the Cunningham family. The Ewells are known for being “poor white trash” and do not follow morals or have manners of any kind. On Scout’s first day of school, Burris Ewell makes Miss Caroline cry. When his teacher tells him to go to the principal’s office, he responds with, “‘Ain’t no snot-nosed slut of a schoolteacher ever born c’n make me do nothin’!’” (Lee 37). Burris continues to insult her until she is crying as he storms out of her classroom leaving everyone in astonishment. In To Kill A Mockingbird the Cunninghams and the Ewells are perfect examples of
Tom Robinson is a black man who is falsely accused of raping a white girl, and Atticus defends him rightfully and justly, even though nobody would ever believe the black man. The community of Negros who live in and around Maycomb thank the Finches with a copious amount of food. “The kitchen table was loaded with enough food to bury the family: hunks of salt pork, tomatoes, beans, even scuppernongs. … Calpurnia said, “This was all ‘round the back steps when I got here this morning.
“We are indeed.” Jem’s nose wrinkled. “Are we as poor as the Cunninghams?” “Not exactly. The Cunninghams are country folks, farmers, the crash hit them the hardest” (21).
The Ewells and Cunningham families in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee or complete opposites of eachother. The first way they vary is in their appearance. The Ewells don 't care what they look like so their “necks are dark grey, backs of hands are rusty, and fingernails black deep into the quick” (27). However, the Cunninghams look as best the can with a “clean shirt and neatly pressed overalls” (19). Another way they differ is their education.
Harper Lee’s To Kill A MockingBird portrays many differences between the Ewells and Cunninghams. Cleanliness is one contrast between the two families. For example, the Ewells are dirty because Burris’ “neck was dark gray, the back of his hands were rusty” (27). Their appearances are unkempt because it isn’t their top priority; however, the Cunninghams choose to take pride in their appearance.
Jem said that “there’s four kinds of folks in the world. The ordinary kind like us and the neighbors… the Cunninghams… the Ewells… and the negroes.” This statement exemplifies the social stratification in the small town of Maycomb. Even very young children are able to distinguish and differentiate between classes. The book depicts “the negroes” as the very worst of the classes, and people like the Cunninghams, as among the highest class, the “whites.”
By analyzing the struggle of these individuals throughout Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the reader observes that the prejudiced society hurts the mockingbirds; this is important because the author demonstrates it is a sin to harm an innocent being. To start, Mayella Ewell symbolizes a mockingbird that the discriminatory society misjudges as a result of her low social class. When Scout is in first grade, readers see that the Ewells are poor and struggle to survive. Atticus tells Scout, “the Ewells had been the disgrace of Maycomb for three generations” (Lee 40).
There’s the ordinary kind like us and the neighbors, there’s the kind like the Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells down at the dump, and the Negroes” (302). This statement clearly shows how much social class prejudice was around at this time. A ten year old is talking about social class prejudice and demeaning people that were not like him and his family. Social class prejudice was such a present theme during these times that it affected people of all ages. The third type of prejudice in this novel is gender prejudice.
Atticus is a defense attorney and is appointed to a case that will affect him deeply for a lifetime. Atticus defends a young African American man accused of rape. His name Tom Robinson. This case will cause division in Maycomb, but also this case will cause many citizens of
In To Kill A Mockingbird, there are many chapters that involve racism, poverty, and or violence. This book takes place in Maycomb, Alabama during the Great Depression. The Finches, Jem, Scout, and Atticus which are the rich white people, the Cunninghams, the poor humble people, the Ewells, the dirt poor white trash people, and the colored folks all are involved in either racism, poverty, and or violence. Many examples of poverty are stated in To Kill A Mockingbird. An example of poverty is the Ewells because the Ewells have nearly 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.
Hayden Lambeth Mrs. Vickers Period # 2 15 December 2015 To Kill a Mockingbird Themes “You can 't delete racism. It 's like a cigarette. You can 't stop smoking if you don 't want to, and you can 't stop racism if people don 't want to. But I 'll do everything I can to help” ( Mario Balotelli).
But, even though they are poor, the Cunninghams “get along on what they have”. They do not ever take the pity gifts that society gives them because they want to earn everything honestly. They deserve the benefits of society because they do not have the opportunity that other families would have based on their social class. These respectable people are entitled to more than what they have because they are more honorable than the privileged of the
The poorest white families in Maycomb County were the Cunninghams and the Ewells, who were living behind the town 's garage dump. “ ' '... The Cunninghams are country folks, farmers, and the crash hit them the hardest. ' '”18 For example, Walter Cunningham and Burris Ewells ' characters are both bullied at school, since they do not have the money for lunch or clean clothes. “...Walter Cunningham was sitting there lying his head off.
In the early and middle 1900’s of American history, it was a very common and ordinary thing to have prejudice and discrimination amongst the community. Most southern states had bathrooms, drinking fountains, restaurants, churches and schools were segregated by color. A lot of the prejudice was aimed towards African Americans, but there were many incidents where families of low income were ridiculed and mocked. Discrimination within “To Kill a Mockingbird” emphasized the true definition of prejudice during this time period of America. The most evident appearance of discrimination in this novel is racism; however, amongst this there is moral development with characters Scout and Jem.
This novel is mostly centered on Tom Robinson’s case and the final judgment. Tom Robinson was accused of raping Mayella, daughter of Bob Ewell. Atticus, being a symbol of good moral, dug his own grave when he decided to defend Tom. Since Tom Robinson was an African-American, all the odds were against him, so Atticus’s decision to defend Tom was the cause of the enmity between society and his family.