Moral Chaos in Harper Lee's Maycomb Essay

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Harper Lee argues in her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, that the moral obligations of a court are thrown aside in favor of the law that lies in the minds of men. She describes her characters in such a manner that alludes to their inner thoughts. Through practiced repetition, the citizens of Maycomb force the existence of the social inequality that is white supremacy. Whether by following lead or by ignoring the problem altogether, it is the people alone who allow injustices to occur. In a public appeal for an era of tolerance, Harper Lee attacks Southern racism through Scout Finch's narration of her father's failure to correct a corrupt legal system dominated by prejudiced citizens seeking to rule the law by their own hands. Tom…show more content…
Robinson’s death is preordained as nothing could come between a terrified jury of Southern farmers with daughters of their own facing a black man accused of rape. Though by a false accusation, the jury condemns Tom because, for a black man, "a sexual advance to a white woman was a certain invitation to a tortured death," says Lisa Lindquist Dorr, assistant professor at the University of Alabama (95). Though seen as innocent by some, including possibly Robinson’s defense attorney, Atticus, Robinson still confronts his jury of poor whites who spite him simply because of racial differences; they fail to see another explanation of the suspected crime because of their narrow-minded simplicity. Being uneducated, the jury fails to understand the message which Atticus tries to convey. Countering the unintelligent jury, the prosecuting attorney and court judge see little evidence in Robinson's guilt, making it blatantly obvious that Bob Ewell, the town drunkard is an irrational fool. Though given irrefutable evidence of Tom's innocence, the poor, white jury still convicts him because of the strained relationship between their class and his, along with the fear that he may rape one of their own daughters. The fact that an intelligent judge and both attorneys realized that Robinson committed no crime highlights the blind rage which the fearful jury of White farmers would have used like a

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