A Persistent Issue In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, injustice is a chronic theme. A lack of fairness or unfair judgement defines the term injustice. The theme itself has different forms as well; legal injustice and social injustice are the primary forms of injustice found in Lee’s tale. It is an underlying theme throughout the story that affects each of the characters and the course of their lives. It is also a topic that existed as part of everyday life in the time period in which the book is set. This may have been the reason why this book was written in this time period, when injustice was conventional and more acceptable than in today’s age. Injustice is rampant throughout the book and takes the form of the social injustice in the school, the social injustice in the town, and the legal injustice in the trial of Tom Robinson. One of the first times that the reader observes social injustice in the book is the way in which the school of Maycomb County operates. Various distinct examples of this social injustice in the school can be found throughout the book, but a main example is when Scout’s teacher persistently held her back in school. Atticus and Calpurnia educated Scout to read and write, but the school required her to learn at the much slower pace of the rest of the class instead of encouraging further learning. Another example is when the students judged Walter Cunningham and Burris Ewell falsely based on their last names or family traits. “You’re shamin’
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
To Kill a Mockingbird, a classic novel by Harper Lee, is a quintessential example of a novel that brings to light the social injustice that occurred throughout history. This social injustice is not only experienced by people of color, but also people that aren’t perceived as high class in society. Some people that face social injustice in To Kill a Mockingbird are the following: Tom Robinson, the Cunninghams, and Arthur Radley.
In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, injustice is a main theme that is reflected towards many characters. To Kill a Mockingbird, is a novel written by Harper Lee and published in the nineteen-sixties. Many characters in the story are treated unfairly in society due to racial or prejudicial attitudes. Overall these characters are innocent victims of injustice. Atticus, Boo Radley, and Tom Robinson are considered to be mockingbirds in the novel. A mockingbird was defined as a bird that did nothing wrong, but sang beautiful music for us to hear. These characters did nothing wrong and were treated unfairly in their town. In this different society, there are many factors that have had an influence on people’s perceptions towards others.
What is justice? Is it a fitting punishment for a crime? Or a court or officer of the law? Is it the law itself? It has many definitions and interpretations, depending on various people. Some interpret it very simply, saying that it is fairness in every situation. Others give the word more complication, saying that it is doing what is morally right and fair. Oxford Dictionary defines it as many things, including, “Just behaviour or treatment...The quality of being fair and reasonable.” Black’s Law Dictionary defines justice as, “The constant and perpetual disposition to render every man his due.” All are various meanings and interpretations of one, single, word, that has been explored in many books and novels, including one by Harper Lee. In her novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses the characters of Atticus and Mr. Raymond to show the meaning of true justice and how it transcends prejudicial divisions.
Being at the top of the social hierarchy has been a must for every American of past generations, but can lead to fatal damages for some trying to obtain that goal and a cause to ruin people’s lives. In a remarkably triumphant story on compassion, Harper Lee explored the horrors of racial prejudice in the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Set in the 1930’s, the poor town of Maycomb, Alabama has been hit by the depression hard, which created a vast, complex social pyramid, with distinct families and lifestyles. At the Finch household, composed of a little nine year old girl, Scout, a twelve year old boy Jem, and their father Atticus, proceed through a whirlwind of events throughout the next few years. Atticus, a lawyer who is a hardworking, honest man at the top of the social hierarchy of Maycomb, has to defend a colored man by the name of Tom Robinson. This happened to be very unusual for the time period, as the family has to transcend through the struggles in a racial prejudice town and learn the raw nature of the worst in humans, thus trying to overcome these events through compassion. The author utilizes metaphor, characterization, and mood to describe the situation of Maycomb, it soon then becomes very clear that the dangers of ruining innocence can lead to a vast road of horrors and evils.
Race is the dominant cause of inequality in To Kill A Mockingbird, thus Maycomb’s views on race heavily influence every aspect of life. Although racial inequality is clearly illustrated in the in the injustice, prejudice, discrimination and antagonism surrounding the Tom Robinson trial, it is also shown more subtly throughout the novel. In chapter 25 Atticus Finch is quoted disclosing that the corrupt justice system is a direct cause of a racist society. “In our courts, when it's a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins” (Pg 295). To emphasize, on the same occasion Atticus attempts to explain to his children how widely spread racism is, “As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men everyday of your life”
“To Kill a Mockingbird” examines the very central theme of man’s inhumanity to man. The many types of inhumanity, whether it is intentional or not, is seen throughout the novel in its many forms. It is shown through the ignorance and prejudice of the people in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama. Most examples of inhumanity found in the novel are not as innocent as Scout and Jem’s actions. It is evident that racism of all kinds affects the everyday lives of many people. Although this novel may be fictional, the conflicts are as real and valid in the world of Scout and Jem Finch as they are in reality today. The reader witnesses Bob Ewell’s inhumanity towards his daughter, and pretty much everyone he comes in contact with, the inhumanity shown by the Radley’s as well as the other Maycomb citizens towards Boo Radley and lastly, the inhumanity shown by the white people in Maycomb towards the Blacks.
In To Kill A Mockingbird injustice is exhibited at intense depths; sometimes it takes extreme measures for justice to be displayed even though it might be wrong in the law’s eyes. The most prevalent of these is the injustice the because this leads to the stage in the book where justice has been revealed.
In Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, the author explores the issue of justice using the symbol of the mockingbird. Placed in, the 1930s, a time of great depression and inequality, the book presents injustice acts to the most kind yet blamed citizens of the town Maycomb. The symbolism of the mockingbird and the characters are essential for the message of Harper Lees novel because the kind, but African-American Tom Robinson is unfairly put on trial for the “rape” of Mayella Ewell. Also, Arthur “Boo” Radley is victimized by the rumors the towns people have created about him, forcing him to live alone inside his house with his brother, Nathan Radley. Lastly Atticus Finch, is known by the town for being a good human being and sticking
There are unforgettable moments in a society when one can shape events for generations to come. For an individual to use proper judgements to change one’s living environment, and make the situation equal for others is a significant responsibility. In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Atticus Finch presents as an evident contradiction of the society of Maycomb in which racism and injustice are customary in able to emphasize Lee’s lesson that one must stand with their own moral code, regardless of what others think in order to change society.
Through the study this term of the central text, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and related texts, films Rabbit Proof Fence by Phillip Noyce and In the Name of the Father by Jim Sheridan, my understanding of the concept of justice, or what constitutes justice, has altered considerably. We all think we know what justice is, or what it should be. In Australian colloquial terms, it is the principle of a “fair go” for everyone. In a perfect world, everyone is treated fairly. No-one is subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, sex or disability. But the reality is that the world we inhabit is far from perfect, human beings are by their very natures
There are many examples of injustice that exist in our world. Harper Lee in her novel, To Kill A Mockingbird reveals injustice in her novel. Through the novel there are three main ideas about how the main characters deal with injustice that are, One must use their own conscience regardless of social norms, represent those who don't have a voice or one that is a minority, and that change does not come easily. The author develops the idea that the individual must stand up to injustice to demonstrate awareness of their own morals and values that can transcend conformity.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” - Martin Luther King Jr. The text To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee, and the documentary “ The Untold Story of Emmett Till” directed by Keith Beauchamp both share the same opinions on justice and injustice in society. Harper Lee and the Untold story of Emmett Till are suggesting that injustice is created upon lies and guilt from others. We need to stop assumptions about other people because of their background and race. All things can come to good terms when people are treated fairly and equally because we are all humans.
In Harper Lee’s highly successful novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, the author explores the issue of justice using the symbol of the mockingbird. Mockingbirds are often viewed in today’s society, as a symbol of peace. The characters in Lee’s book are viewed as an example of a “mockingbird”: someone who is innocent and does no harm, but only good to others. Metaphorically, the killing of a mockingbird, is by causing harm to something who attempted to only do good. The kind hearted, African-American Tom Robinson is unjustifiably put on trial for the asserted assault of Mayella Ewell. In spite of racial shameful acts, Boo Radley is deceived by the group in view of the unfair town legends the Maycomb's have made about him, compelling him to live estranged
All people are born into some sort of social class, upper, lower, middle, but for African Americans in the deep south, they were looked upon as third class citizens. As a whole they dealt with the common denial of jobs, goods, and services. African Americans were denied access to many services, although “black only,” services were claimed to be equal. This did not justify the injustice that was put upon negroes. Although the written law had brought the negroes justice, society continued to function in a way of which was still hostile to the negroes, because they were treated as the lowest tier of the social class.
Why do we need justice? Justice is the punishment of the bad and defending for the good. When there is a lack of justice, there would be no end to stop the wrong actions from being done and nothing to punish individuals for their wrong doings. Yes, both plots include a trial, but almost for the opposite reasons. Tom Robinson, a black man, was accused of raping and beating a white nineteen-year-old woman named Mayella Ewell. However, Carl Lee Hailey's daughter was raped by two white men. Carl Lee decided to take the law into his own hands and shot the two young men in the middle of the courthouse for brutally raping his daughter. In the course of the two time periods, the law puts too much emphasis on cases being 'black and white' and the plots demonstrate that in numerous ways during the trials. The outcomes of both cases were affected in several different ways. One man was found innocent, whereas the other was pleading guilty. Although, both men dealt with the prejudice of being black and the stereotypes during the two time periods. Throughout the trials of both, Harper Lee's novel "To Kill A Mockingbird" and John Grisham's "A Time To Kill" there were similarities and differences between their notions justice and fairness.