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To Kill a Mockingbird is a book set in Maycomb County Essay Sample

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To Kill a Mockingbird is a book set in Maycomb County Essay Sample

To Kill a Mockingbird is a book set in Maycomb County. There is a 1ot~,,/ of poverty in this area because of the Wall Street crash. The book covers prejudices of many kinds. There are prejudices between different classes but the main prejudice is racism between the Black and White communities. This book is seen through the narration of Scout Finch. This means we get a biased view of what is happening. In the bo,pk Atticus Scouts father has to defend Tom Robinson. Tom is blac~/and because of this we see the underlying prejudice in the community.

Boo Radley lives down the road from the Finches. Boo gets in trouble / and as a punishment his father never lets him out of the house. Thу Radleys keep themselves to them themselves. This makes them isolated in a close community. At the start of the book Jem and Scout have only heard gossip of what Boo is like and they accept this without thinking that all this isn’t entirely true. The gossip came from people like Miss Stephanie Crawford and the black community. The gossip is so bad that black people are to scared to walk past the Radley gates. The stories they have heard are that Boo eats squirrels. Boo is referred to as a ‘malevolent phantom’. Scout said when people’s chickens and household pets are discovered killed then the Radleys are blamed. Jem and scout don’t like Boo because they believe the gossip and think that he is a horrible/ monster. This is prejudice because they just accept that he’s horrid but they have never seen him. They play the game ‘Boo Radley’ in which they mock all the things they have heard that Boo has done.

Scout finds chewing gum in a tree outside the Radley place. Then the/ get coins, twine, and figures of carvings of Jem and Scout and a meda)~ At first they think that this is a child’s hiding place where he keeps his toys. Jem, Scout and Dill decide to go into the Radley backyard so they can look in the house through some shutters. Jem gets his trousers caught in the Radley fence. Jem decides to go and get his pants back. Later Jem Ils Scout that when he went back his pants had been repaired and~frere ~ waiting for him. The style of sewing was child like which makes them think it was Boo. Jem realizes that the gifts were also from Boo. They feel Boo is trying to be friendly with them. At this point they start to think that Boo is a nice person and the gossip isn’t fair. The main factor that stops Scout from being prejudiced about Bo~j~ when Scout and Jem on their way home from the pageant. Bob Ewe!! jumps out ~�acks the two of them. Bob Ewell pushes Jem to the ground and Jem b_aks his arm. Boo then over powers Bob Ewell and kills him with his kfiife. When Scout realizes that Boo saved her and Jem then she feels no prejudice

against him and realizes that he isn’t the monster that everyone had described him to be. After Scout walks Boo home Scout says she never -~–sees him again. Scout has gone into Boo’s skin like Atticus told her to do 1lA~A~~ and she sees that Boo is nice person.

Jem and Scout discuss the issue of class in Maycomb County. Jem says that there is “four kinds of folks in the world” Jem explains that the classes are formed by “ordinary kind like us and the neighbors the kind like the Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells and they Negroes,” Scout thinks that there is only one group of people in the community. Jem tells scout that he felt the same w9rwhen he was younger but his new outlook on life has changed his~iews. The classes are divided by how much they are respected by the overall community. People who are like Jem and~ Scout’s neighbors are top of the class structure because they are seen to have few faults and are highly respected by most of the community. The Cunninghams are known to~be very poor because they were hit badly by the great depression. The family is so poor that on page 26-27 Mr. Cunningham paid Atticus with stove wood, a sack of hickory nuts, a crate of smilax and holly. Mr. Cunningham’s son Walter hasn’t been able to pass the first grade. jhis is because he has to work on his father’s farm in the harvest so he l,j.~ never passed his exams so that he can progress to the second g1~ade. The Cunninghams are respected in the town because they work hard. The Ewells have a low standard of living. They live in garbage and eat f~{m

it. Mr. Ewe!! has a son who is truant and the community accep~ithis because the Ewells don’t care about anything. The community doesn’t respect the Ewells. The Black community is the bottom of ~ class structure. This is because the majority of the community doesji~t respect them and some hate them. The only person who openly ~spects the Black people is Atticus. There is no change in prejudices between the classes in the book.

The Negro people of Maycomb County and the rest of the USA are descended mainly from West African slaves concentrated in the south of America. In those times white people were seen as being superior to the black people. The whites in Maycomb County still b~Ji~ved this and

treated the blacks in this way. V

Scout and Jem go to Calpurnia’s church First Purchase. The Blacks and Whites have segregated churches. The Blacks are so poor that t~4′ ca~ afford money for a piano, organ or hymnbooks. We are sho~yui that the black people feel in a similar way that the whites do by the reception that

Cal gets for bringing Scout and Jem. Most of the Community cant read because they have no schools. When they get back from church scout tells Cal that she knows better than to talk “Nigga like,” This is racism because scout automatically thinks that the way Black peopl,~ talk is worse than White peoples talk. This shows that Scout thinks that Whites// are superior to Blacks After the community is told Atticus is going to defend Tom Robinson.

We know that Scout has a lot of trouble with peopk’~j opinions. Scout nearly has a fight with Cecil Jacobs because he calls Atticus a “Nigga lover” He also later says Atticus is a disgrace and that Tom Robinson should hang but the trial hasn’t even begun and already people have decided that Tom is guilty. Cecil Jacobs got his views from his parents. This shows that the community has prejudices. Cecil says that Atticus is / ruining the family and he’s a nigger lover. The Racism is so bad in tV community that even Atticus’ family is against him supporting Tom. ~/

The Old Sarum bunches are amongst the most prejudic~groups in Maycomb County. Atticus has gone to the jail to protect Tom from them. The Old Sarum bunch go to the jail and have the intention of killing Tom. Scout, Jem and Dill rush over to~roup. It takes Scout t9 talk to Mr. Cunningham for the bunch to feel guilty. The prejudice jIso strong in some parts of the community that they have to kill ~6m. The group leaves. Mr. Underwood the editor of the Tribune wKs watching over Atticus. Mr. Underwood hates Black people. He shares the same attitude as the Old Sarum bunch but he didn’t help them because he knows it’s wrong.

Mr. Dolphus Raymond associates with black people. He is an outcast in the community because of this. He has a half-cast family. They don’t belong in either black or white community. His wife killed herself before their wedding. He spends his time drinking from a paper bag. The community assumes he’s an alcoholic. The community of May,pomb County is ashamed of him. During the trial Dill feels ill so Sco/t takes him outside and they meet with Mr. Dolphus Raymond. Mr.,1I~aymond gives Dill a drink from his paper bag because Dill is ill. The~lrink turns out to be Coca-Cola. This is another example of i9correct gossip. Mr. Raymond pretends to be an alcoholic because he thjEiks that people won’t be able to understand why he lives with black peo~le. It’s a way of people being able to excuse why he’s got mixed children. Mr. Raymond makes one of the most important statements in the book. He explains to Dill and Scout prejudice he says “the simple hell people give each other – without

even thinking. Cry about the hell white people give colored ~o1ks, without even stopping to think that they’re people, too,”

During Tom Robinson being cross-examined Mr. Link Deas Toms boss has an outburst. He said “I just want the whole lot of you to know one thing right now. That boy’s worked for me eight years an’ I aint had a / speck o’trouble outs him. Not a speck,” This shows that Tom has some/

support from the whites. V

When Atticus sums up the case Atticus exp~ains that there is no evidence to commit Tom and that it’s a black mai~)word versus a white person. Atticus says that Mayella couldn’t handle and consequences that she would face from kissing a black person. Atticus says that there is one institution that all men are created equal. That institution is the court. He finishes by say “In the name of God, do your duty,” He is saying that just because he’s black he’s not automatically guilty. Tom is found guilty. This shows that even though there was no evid~i~’to convict Tom the people of the jury were too prejudiced to d~,_i~hat was right. The black people stand as Atticus leaves as a sign of respect. The next day the black people show more gratitude by giving Atticus food. Miss Maudie says that there are people on who are on Atticus’ side and “we’re making a step,” against racism. She also says that Atticus was given the case because he would make people how bad racism was in Maycomb County. Scout learns about Hitler and the persecution of the Jews. Mrs. Gates says, “Over here we have no prejudice,” Mrs. Gates is blind to the prejudice in America. Maybe she doesn’t think the prejudice is wrong. Her comments are ironic because Scout over heard a conversation Mrs. Gates was having with Mrs. Stephanie Crawford she said “it’s about time, somebody taught ’em (blacks) a lesson they’re getting way~~�~c~� themselves, an’ the next thing they think they can marry us.” Calpurnia is an example of how Black peoples should be treated. Atticus trust her to look after the children and she is a mother figure to them. Atticus, the children and the neighbours respect Calpurnia.

In this book the only real prejudice overcome was that of Scouts feelings towards Boo Radley. Scout seeing that there was nothing wrong Boo hiding away inside his house overcame this. It was just something th~t he wanted to do. In the book there are no changes in the prejudices b?fween Blacks and Whites but Miss Maudie’s Comments about the co~munity taking a step against Racism then that means that maybe p~bp1e will accept Black people into the community.

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