Social Inequality in to Kill a Mockingbird

Decent Essays
Social Inequality
In the book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee, racism and social inequality are two central themes. Many different forms of social inequality coexist in the society depicted in the book, as the people of Maycomb are very rigid in their ways. This is because the book takes place in a time at which there was much racism and social inequality. In Maycomb, firstly there is discrimination between rich and poor white people, who do not often interact with each other. There is also racism against blacks by all white people in society, both rich and poor. Black people are denied basic rights and discriminated against in this town. Lastly, there is racism between the lowest classes of the community: poor white people and
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The last type of social inequality is the disparity between men and women. During that time, women were not considered equal to men and as such, there was a particular way in which women were expected to act and certain practices they had to follow. For example, women had to act in a very proper and ladylike way. This is evident through the treatment of Scout by Aunt Alexandra. Aunt Alexandra is very familiar with the expectations of women and how women are supposed to act. She attempts to shape Scout into the kind of lady that society will approve of. Aunt Alexandra believes that Scout is too boyish. Also, Mayella Ewell’s sexual relations with Tom Robinson are unacceptable on two levels: interracial relations were evidently forbidden, as previously mentioned. However, this relationship was also unacceptable because for a woman to make advances towards a man was not socially acceptable at that time. Furthermore, if a man were to make advances towards a woman, it was her duty to stop him. As is evident, women had a predefined role that they had to fit into that society had created for them.
It is very evident that Maycomb is a small town in which there is much racism, and social status greatly determines what kind of life you will lead. The different types of social inequality are an important theme in the novel, and Harper Lee
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