To Kill A Mockingbird Delusion Analysis

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The Delusion of Justice

“Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others.” ― Virginia Woolf. In the sleepy, southern town of Maycomb this statement seems overwhelmingly true; losing your childish belief in fairness for the delusion that justice is unachievable seems like a necessary part of maturation. However, Jem Finch is an exception. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee we follow him and his sister during the time surrounding the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. During the trial the children witness the unjust consequences of racist biases, resulting in the man’s death. Over the course of the novel Jem progressively matures and becomes aware of the hatred and prejudice in his
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On the night when Atticus faces the lynch mob outside the prison, Jem refuses to leave his side on his father’s orders, since only a child would do so. ”He [Atticus] put the newspaper down very carefully, adjusting the creases with lingering fingers. They were trembling a little. ”Go home, Jem,” he said. ”Take Scout and Dill home.” We were accustomed to prompt, if not cheerful acquiescence to Atticus’s instructions, but from the way he stood Jem was not thinking of budging. ”Go home, I said.” Jem shook his head,”(p203). He disobeys not petulantly but maturely, as he grasps Atticus’s difficult situation concerning the case and therefore fear for Atticus’s safety. Later in the story, during the trial, the jury wrongly finds Tom Robinson guilty despite Atticus’s capable and intense defense. Jem is shocked by the verdict: ”His [Jem’s] 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…‘It ain’t right, Atticus,’ said Jem. ‘No son, it’s not right.’ We walked home” (p284). The inequitable judgment forces him to confront his previous morals of justice and goodness; realizing that they seldom patch up with the real world, it leaves him lost and vulnerable. Notwithstanding, he still manages to retain…show more content…
As the novel develops, the boy seizes a glance at the world 's downside and can no longer avoid the adult world of hatred and prejudice he finds himself entering. This forces him to confront his past experiences of right; his contend at times causing the reader to worry whether he will emerge from this new insight with his optimism intact, or if he will be cynical and jaded like the majority of Maycomb. Nevertheless, he manage to keep his positive outlook of sympathy and understanding. He learns that though humanity has a great capacity of evil, it also has a great capacity of good. By recognizing this, it allows his perspective of life to developed into that of an adult, whereas his faith remarkably remains a child’s. To Kill a Mockingbird tells a timeless story of growing up, and gives hope that in defiance of the evil in the world, it is possible to remain optimistic through adolescence and into
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