Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

1695 Words7 Pages
In To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee presents as a ‘tired old town’ where the inhabitants have ‘nowhere to go’ it is set in the 1930s when prejudices and racism were at a peak. Lee uses Maycomb town to highlight prejudices, racism, poverty and social inequality. In chapter 2 Lee presents the town of Maycomb to be poverty stricken, emphasised through the characterisation of Walter Cunningham. When it is discovered he has no lunch on the first day of school, Scout tries to explain the situation to Miss Caroline, an outsider, by stating: ‘He’s a Cunningham, Miss’. This quote presents that poverty issues within families have become such a normal occurrence in Maycomb that the children simply disregard it, and Lee uses the contrast of the…show more content…
Atticus states Tom was ‘a dead man’ as soon as ‘Mayella opened her mouth and screamed '. As Mayella was white the jury would be quick to defend her regardless of any evidence against her as their inflexible mindsets prevent any regard for people of colour. When Tom was shot, it was essentially as if the shooters had resulted in the ‘senseless slaughter of a songbird’, thus revealing Maycomb’s true nature of racism and hypocrisy as the trial would not have occurred if Maycomb’s society had not looked down upon the black community. Atticus uses the mockingbird symbol to teach Jem about racism because he doesn’t want his children to catch ‘Maycomb’s usual disease’ - the spreading of racism, implying it is easily ‘caught’ and spread like an epidemic. Robinson is one of the innocent mockingbirds referred to by Atticus in the novel - he does not do anything of ill-manner, yet he is persecuted by Maycomb, and through disguising Robinson as a mockingbird, Lee’s able to convey Maycomb as racist. The theme of racism in Maycomb is furthered through the Ewell family. The Ewells, being uneducated and at the bottom of the social hierarchy cannot find a clear distinction between their social class and the black’s, therefore turning to racism and insulting the black community to feel superior. Racial prejudice has been prevalent as a
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