Criminological portrait of Bob Ewell In Harper Lee’s novel “To kill a Mockingbird” we could see the life in the small town with wide spectrum of characters of various social status, but almost the same prejudices. Most of the inhabitants belong to middle class: they are white people, who have some small business, and other part of the town, who, despite the abolishing of slavery, still face pressure. Bob Ewell and his family does not belong neither to any of these groups. He is one of the most controversial characters, who hates both “black” and “white” people. His hate spreads not only on dwellers of Maycomb, but also on members of his own family.
In this section I will however only address the centrality of racism and white supremacy as theme of CRT in the context of the book. Racism Charles Lawrence asserts that American racism is prevalent and is unconscious .After Mr Radley fired his gun, the neighbors assumed that “Mr Radley shot a Negro in his collard patch.” They made this conclusion without solid proof that it was indeed a black man. Racial prejudice runs so deep that even the children have come accustomed to it. Scout was teased by her classmate and cousin Francis because Atticus was defending a black man. Although Calpurnia has been useful to the Finch family, Aunt Alexandra refuses Scout to visit Calpurnia and incites Atticus to fire her because she is black.
In the book, he is assigned to defend a black man in court who is accused of raping a white woman. When Atticus’s daughter, Scout, talks about what happened at school, she says that “...the school buzzed with talk about him [Atticus] defending Tom Robinson, none of which was complimentary” (Lee 92). The racist people of Maycomb, Alabama were all annoyed and horrified at Atticus for taking the case. Many people at the time believed that all black men were criminals. The townspeople did not feel like Atticus should be defending a negro.
As Jem and Scout start to grow up and realize the racism of their community, people like Miss Maudie, Dill, and many others that reside in Maycomb County, encounters many events that start to shape the siblings for better or worse. This novel is a tale of overcoming fear and prejudice, but it shares significant similarities to two articles: Moral Cowardice by Mark Twain and Why I Joined the Klan by C.P. Ellis. All of these written pieces display a hidden unity of themes that tie into the greater message of To Kill a Mockingbird. These themes can be extracted from different events in the novel that appear as tribulations that the siblings go through such as the incident with the violent mobs, Atticus defending Tom Robinson, or the diverse traditions of Maycomb.
More importantly, however, Boo was the mysterious figure who saved the Finch children from Bob Ewell’s attack. Because the children did not understand Boo until the end of the story, the way they treated him was based on fear and the stereotypes they learned from the others in the town. Other significant examples of misunderstanding in the book come during the trial of Tom Robinson. After Bob Ewell finds his daughter, Mayella, kissing a black man, Tom Robinson, Mr. Ewell severely beats his daughter and accuses Tom of raping and beating her. Although it is physically impossible for Tom to have attacked Mayella, he is convicted of the crime.
Furthermore, “To Kill A Mockingbird” displays the idea of innocence, how prejudice works, and the consequences. The novel takes place in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama during the great depression era. Through the young characters; in Scout and Jem perspective, they learn to mature and grow learning that not all people are good by nature such as their father Atticus. Moreover, it is clear that people are not born prejudiced and discriminating others, but something that is shown and learned. An example of this is through the character of Cecil Jacobs.
To Kill a Mockingbird, a classic tale with a meaning deeper than the simple story of childhood shenanigans, remains a staple in many classes throughout the US. The people of the town consistently express their racist values, and how there prejudice clearly divides white and black people. Beyond that, the contrast between knowing and not knowing consistently appears throughout the story. There are many different types of ‘not knowing,’ ranging from innocence to ignorance. The people of Maycomb are ignorant when it comes to race, and the Finch children are innocent and do not know what’s really involved with the case taken up by their father.
Though the residents of Maycomb, Alabama were quick to judge their African American counterparts, Scout’s father, Atticus, knew better than to agree with them. Although Scout was curious about the truth behind her classmates harsh words, she quickly disregarded their meaning after digesting her father’s advice and began to form her own mature beliefs and thoughts about race at an unusually young age. For instance, in To Kill a Mockingbird, “‘...My folks said your daddy was a disgrace an’ that n****r oughta hang from the water tank!’ I drew a bead on him ,
Even though Walter is not a key player in the the novel, his character still faces discrimination,he is discriminated against because of his family's social class. He is looked down upon by Scout, because he pours molasses all over his lunch, while visiting the Finch's home. Scout rudely asks him why he poured molasses all over his food. When Calpurnia speaks to Scout about it, Scout says “He ain’t company, Cal, he’s just a Cunningham” (Lee ,13). Scout feels as though Walter is not a proper guest in her home because of his family being lower class.
Clearly, Atticus understands the faults of the educational system, but also knows it is necessary for his children to pass through this system to be a part of society. Just because he wasn't a school boy does it mean he wasn't able to be successful he just wasn't successful at school “ the reminder of my school days were more auspicious than the others” (36). However, his teaching at home, both morally and otherwise, is far more valuable to his children than anything they learn in the classroom. Scout notices this most obviously when learning about the Holocaust. Her teacher explains that such oppression of one group of people could never happen in the United States and Scout is astonished.With cooperation Atticus taught Scout how to read instead of school so “ Miss Caroline told me to tell my father not to teach me anymore”.