To main theme of the novel is

To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel ,written by Harper Lee and it deals with the subjects of race, class and gender roles.

The novel is staged in the ‘tired old town’ of Maycomb, Alabama, in the 1930s. This was the time when discrimination was very harmful. The narrator in the novel is called Scout Finch, and the story is told through Scout’s perspective. Scout’s innocent perspective compels her to ask questions about why whites treat blacks the way they do.

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Scout must come to terms with the racism of her town and how it affects the people in her life. The mentality of most southern people reflected that of the nation. Most of the people were racist and discriminatory. The main theme of the novel is prejudice. In To Kill a Mockingbird, forms of prejudice including racism, classism, and sexism are portrayed by Maycomb’s citizens.Pierre Berton, a famous author once wrote “Racism is a refuge for the ignorant. It seeks to divide and to destroy.

It is the enemy of freedom, and deserves to be met head-on and stamped out.” This quote illustrates the 1930s’ destruction caused by the disease of racism. Racism never stopped during this time, it kept moving.

Therefore, the 1930s’ racial discrimination made it a huge struggle for the African Americans in their daily life. There was no justice for a black man in 1930s’ Alabama town as well. In the book, almost every character is involved in a situation that contains prejudice.

For instance, Tom Robinson is a kind person, in the middle of the story it talks about how Tom is a kind person. He helps Mayella whenever she needed help (Lee, 197). Scout got to know Tom a better than before and comes out saying to his dad that Tom was a kind and nice guy (281). How Tom helps Mayella is that he fixes a door and chifferobe for her. He feels sorry for her and kindly helps her no matter what needs to be fixed. Tom being so kind to a white person surprised others because usually black people are not so kind and caring for a white person like Mayella.

Tom helps Mayella without hesitation because he knows that no one is available to help Mayella and he feels bad about that. The main emotion in this is Tom is feeling sorry for Mayella that no one is helping her. On the other hand, others view him as a guy who committed a crime of raping Mayella and physically harassing her (185). Since this got turned into a court case. Tom Robinson in the story during his trial is a character versus society conflict because usually the white people would side with the white and the black people would side with the black people. In this case, the jury is all white people that believe Tom is guilty.

They believe that Tom is guilty for his crime of raping and harassing Mayella. Using the evidence provided, Tom has to try and prove that he is innocent in this crime and should be free. During this time, there is tons of segmentation going on.

In this case, it is a black versus white, or Tom Robinson versus the whites (203). Most of the whites are going to be siding with the whites no matter what type of evidence is presented. They know that black people like Tom is going to lose. Even though Atticus’s evidence was pretty powerful, it will not change the fact that the jury, who consist of white people, will change their relationship with the blacks and make it a fair trial. During the time of the book, it was the time of 1930s’ when separation and racism was happening.

When it did come to the jury to decide if Tom is guilty or not, the whole jury thought Tom was guilty even though the evidence provided was good enough to say Tom is innocent (211). Judge Taylor reads Tom’s guilty verdict towards the end of Chapter 21. Immediately before reading the verdict, Scout notices that the jury refuses to look at Tom Robinson. Sheriff Tate then hands Judge Taylor a piece of paper with the jury’s final decision written on it. Judge Taylor then reads the verdict by saying, “Guilty…guilty…guilty…guilty…” (233). Scout says that each “guilty” is a “separate stab” between Jem’s shoulders.

Jem and other children lose In the end, Tom lost the battle against society because of his color. In addition, what Calpurnia experienced in the book is another example of racial prejudice. Calpurnia is the faithful housekeeper for Finch family.

She came in to help Atticus with his children, Scout and Jem, after the death of their mother. Calpurnia is a black woman and a mother figure to Atticus’ children, but Aunt Alexandra thinks she is not a good role model for Scout and asked Atticus to tell Calpurnia that there is no need for her to remain in the house anymore. Knowing her good influence on his children, Atticus got very angry with his sister and told her that Calpurnia was a member of the family and would not be leaving until she wants to leave. Additionally, Aunt Alexandra feels uncomfortable talking serious matters when Calpurnia is around. The most racist person in ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ would be Bob Ewell. He shows how racist he can be during the trial of Tom Robinson. During his testimony against Tom Robinson he says, “I’ve asked the county for fifteen years to clean out that nest down yonder, they’re dangerous to live around sides devaluing my property”(175). Bob Ewell shows what he feels towards negroes like Tom Robinson, in that he considers them trash, dirty, useless and should be cleared out of Maycomb.

Bob Ewell also accuses the negroes of being dangerous to the Maycomb folks as they would steal their property. After the trial and Tom Robinson’s death, Bob Ewell holds grudges on Atticus, Judge Taylor and, for no reason, Tom’s wife Helen. He attempts Christian Doma to rob Judge Taylor and fails, he threatens to ‘chunk’ Helen. What he attempts to do to Atticus just for defending Tom Robinson is kill his kids, Scout and Jem, but in the end the life that is taken is of his own. Bob Ewell’s hate for blacks lead to his own death, that’s how far he was willing to go. Bob Ewell may be the worst when it comes to racism on the white side, but there is another side of that scale and it is best shown in Lula. The church that Calpurnia and Lula attend is called the First Purchase Church, only black people are allowed to attend the church.

When Calpurnia brought Jem and Scout to the First Purchase church, Lula stopped them after they walked in and told Calpurnia, “You ain’t got no business bringin’ white children he’re – they got their church and we ours'”(119). Lula’s eaction to the white children can be viewed as her acceptance of the town’s view that black people should be segregated. Dill, Scout, and Jem are not racist but they do talk about the biracial children in town. Jem talks about the biracial children when he says that “colored folks won’t have’em because they’re half white: white folks won’t have them because they’re half black”(183). This shows the social racism in the town of Maycomb. Everyone has heard the quote, “All men are created equal. That has not stopped the discrimination against any group of people right up to this very moment.

The group of people that is treated most unequally is made up of biracial children and teens. There are many themes in ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, racial prejudice being the most outstanding. It is shown clearly in Bob Ewell at the time of Tom Robinson’s trial, Lula at the First Purchase church, and during the scene when Scout, Jem, and Dill are talking about the biracial children in Maycomb.There are many different social classes in “To Kill A Mockingbird.” The factors that separate people into these social classes are their skin color and their occupation.

For example, Atticus, Scout, and Jem are part of the highest social class. They are part of this social class because Atticus is a lawyer, which makes him a highly respected person in the community. He is also white, which, at that time was a very important factor that chose who belonged in what social class.

Scout and Jem are his children and therefore are also part of this social class. Another person in this same social class is Miss Maudie Atkinson. She grew up with the Finch’s and is an old friend of theirs. She is now Atticus’s neighbor and is loved by his children.

Aunt Alexandra is also part if this because she is known as the “perfect example of what a southern lady should act like.” She is part of the Finch’s family and is highly respected by the community. One of the very important rules of belonging in this social class is to treat white people with lesser status kindly. It is an unwritten rule that white people with a higher social class than other white people must be hospitable and treat them with respect. An example of this is when Walter Cunningham is invited by Jem to come over for dinner. When Scout notices Walter using a lot of gravy during dinner she is rude to him and as a result is punished by Calpurnia. The reason for this is because Walter is of a lower class and was invited to eat with Atticus and his family. As a result, it is rude not to let him do and eat what he wants to.

An example of a person who is in the next social class is Mrs. DuBose. She is a nasty women and one of the factors that hints that she is not part of the higher social class is the way she talks to her community members. She is supposed to be kind and respectful to the white people of Maycomb, like Jem. Even though she is nice to Atticus, she talks badly about him behind his back. That is not a quality that a person of a high status would have. Therefore, she isn’t part of that social class.

The next social class is the poor, yet respectable white people. The Cunningham’s are in this class because even though they are poor, they manage to live their life by borrowing money and paying back the money borrowed with items from the farm instead of money. Under them are the Ewell’s, who are poor and disgusting. They are completely rude and so are their children, but they are still in a higher social class than black people since they are white. The next social class is wealthy or middle-class black people. Calpurnia is a part of this class and only is for the reason that she is black. She has all the qualities of a good southern lady, and has perfect manners.

She is respected and in good relations with the Finch family. Calpurnia would be in the same social class as Atticus Finch if she weren’t black. Another person who is in this class is Reverend Sykes. He met Jem and Scout in church and showed how much he respected them and their father for defending the Tom Robinson case.

He welcomed them and was very friendly, therefore in the same class as Calpurnia. The last social class is the poor and black people. Lula is in this social class. She is disgraceful to the black people and her motto is that the black people should stick to own community and the white should stay with there’s. She was harsh and shallow to someone who is of her kind (Calpurnia) and she was harsh to two innocent kids just because they are white. There is a very interesting relationship between the white people and black. The majority of the black people is more mature and has much more class.

They accept themselves and their status. They accept how they don’t get credit for all their work. They accept always having the worse of things, like the First Purchase church, which is a very beaten down church. They accept not getting an education with barely any complaints. No matter how much they tolerate, the white people cannot stand them at all and are so afraid of the truth because it means going against a white person’s word. The fact that white people don’t treat white people equally contributes greatly to the way the social classes are separated.

To there for many years without ever coming

To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel, written by Harper Lee and it manages the subjects of race, class and gender roles. It is the story of a brother and sister, Jem and Scout Finch, who live in a small Alabama town with their lawyer father, Atticus. The two siblings, along with their friend Dill, become fascinated with a scary old house on their street called the Radley Place. The house is owned by Nathan Radley, whose brother, Arthur (nicknamed Boo), has lived there for many years without ever coming out.

The narrator in the novel is called Scout Finch, and the story is told from the perspective of her. Since she is a child, she is, naturally, prone to ask questions about why whites treat blacks the way they do. Scout wants to comprehend what racism means and how it affects the people in her life.

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The vast majority of the general population are supremacist and prejudicial. They have pitiless sentiments and judgments about black people in the town. The main subject of the novel is prejudice and forms of prejudice including racism, classism, and sexism are portrayed by Maycomb’s citizens.Pierre Berton, a noted Canadian author’s well-said quote; “Racism is a refuge for the ignorant. It seeks to divide and to destroy. It is the enemy of freedom, and deserves to be met head-on and stamped out.” demonstrates the destruction of the 1930s’ occurred by the racist thought. Racism and its destruction never ceased during this time, it continued moving.

Therefore, the 1930s’ racial separation made it a tremendous battle for the African Americans in their everyday life. There was no justice for a black man in 1930s’ Alabama town as well. In the book, almost every character is either exposed to prejudice directly or involved in a situation that contains prejudice. For instance, Tom Robinson who is a kind person, helps Mayella, a white woman, at whatever point she required help (Lee, 197).

Scout became more acquainted with Tom a superior than previously and turns out saying to his father that Tom was a kind and nice guy (281). Tom helps Mayella by fixing a door and wardrobe for her. He feels sorry for her and fixes whatever needs to be fixed for her without hesitation. Tom’s being so kind to a white person, astonished others on the grounds that typically black people are not all that kind to a white person like Mayella. The primary feeling in this is Tom is feeling frustrated about Mayella that nobody is helping her.

On the other hand, according to others Tom raped Mayella and harassed her physically because she has marks on her face and neck (185). Then this case is brought to trial. Meanwhile, Atticus agrees to defend him. He provides enough evidence to prove that Tom is innocent and that Bob Ewell, Mayella’s father, is responsible for the marks on her face and neck. However, the jury consists of all white people that convicts Tom any way. Even though Atticus’s evidence was pretty powerful and enough to prove that Tom is not guilty, the jury made a decision against Tom. However hard they tried to convince jury that Tom is not guilty, they could not succeed in convincing. During the time of the book, it was the time of 1930s’ when separation and racism was happening.

Before Judge Taylor reads Tom’s guilty verdict, Scout notices that the jury refuses to look at Tom Robinson. Sheriff Tate then hands Judge Taylor a piece of paper with the jury’s final decision written on it. Judge Taylor then reads the verdict by saying, “Guilty…guilty… guilty…guilty…” (233). Scout says that each “guilty” is a “separate stab” between Jem’s shoulders. Jem and other children lost their innocence as they see how things work.

They witnessed that it does not matter whether a person is really guilty or not even in the court of justice, what matters only is skin color. In the end, Tom lost the battle against society because of his color. He is shot while he is trying to “escape” from prison. During his testimony against Tom, Bob Ewell shows how racist he is by saying, “I’ve asked my county for fifteen years to clean out that nest down yonder, they’re dangerous to live around sides devaluin’ my property” (193). He reflects his feelings towards black people including Tom. According to him, they are useless, rude and they can also steal the belongings of the Maycomb folks. He introduces them as they are posing danger so they should be wiped out of Maycomb.

After the trial and death of Tom Robinson, Bob Ewell nourishes Atticus, Judge Taylor, and Tom’s wife, Helen, hatred groundlessly. He tries to harm Judge Taylor, Scout and Jem just because their father is sided with Tom Robinson in the trial. But he fails to give harm to innocent people and in the end, he is the only one who passed away. His hatred of black people leads him to his own end. When it comes to the white side, Bob Ewell is the most racist, but there is another side, and Lula is the racist in this side. There is a church that called the First Purchase Church and only black people are permitted to attend the church. One day, Calpurnia wants to take Jem and Scout with her to the First Purchase Church but Lula stops them and says Calpurnia, “You ain’t got no business bringin’ white children here – they got their church and we ours'” (131). Lula’s objection to Jem and Scout shows that she accepts black and white segregation in the town.

Racial prejudice is the main theme in the book. During the trial Bob Ewell and at the church Lula present their racist and ill thoughts. Separately, what Calpurnia experienced in the book is another example. She is the faithful housekeeper for Finch family and mother figure to Jem and Scout. Since she is black, Aunt Alexandra thinks that Calpurnia is not a good role model for Scout. Calpurnia is a black woman and a mother figure to Atticus’ children, but Aunt Alexandra thinks she is not a good role model for Scout and asked Atticus to tell Calpurnia that there is no need for her to remain in the house anymore. Knowing Calpurnia’s good influence on his children, Atticus got very angry with his sister and told her that Calpurnia was a member of the family and would not be leaving until she wants to leave. He knows that Calpurnia has an undeniable positive impact on raising Jem and Scout.

Additionally, Aunt Alexandra feels uncomfortable talking serious matters when Calpurnia is around. At every opportunity, she otherizes her and tries to make her feel like an outsider. Abraham Joshua Herschel, a Polish-born American rabbi, by saying “Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” illustrates how nonsense to bear grudge against someone because of his or her skin color.According to the book, there are different types of social classes can be seen in Maycomb county. What separates Maycomb’s people into these classes is primarily color of their skin then the level of education they take.

For example, Atticus, Jem and Scout belong to the highest social class. They belong to this social class because Atticus is a lawyer. Being lawyer, additionally being white, makes him a highly respected person in the community. Scout and Jem are his children and therefore are also part of this social class. Another person who belongs to the same social class is Miss Maudie Atkinson, a gentle, ladylike and spunky woman. She is grown up with the Finch’s and an old friend of theirs. She is now Atticus’s neighbor, and also Scout and Jem count her as a friend.

Since she acts as an ideal southern lady, Aunt Alexandra also belongs to this highest class. In this social class, it is important to be kind to other people regardless of their occupation. Treating them with appreciation and being hospitable to them is unwritten but important as a written law among white people. Invitation of Walter Cunningham by Jem to the dinner is an example of this rule. During dinner Scout notices that Walter is using syrup generously and she says rudely, “But he’s gone and drown his dinner in syrup,” “He’s poured it all over-” Calpurnia interrupts by requesting her presence to the kitchen (27). Scout is punished by Calpurnia. Walter belongs to a lower class and he is their guest. It was rude to begrudge him syrup.

She should be thoughtful and should know that everyone is just not the same and their eating habits can differ. Mrs. Henry Layafette DuBose is one of the people who belong to the lower class. She is a woman who taunts children when they pass by. She is a rude woman and the way she talks to her community members reveals that she is not a part of the higher social class. She should be nice and respectful to the white people of Maycomb, like Jem. Even though she is kind to Atticus’s face, she backbites him.

This is not a proper behavior which is expected to be displayed by a member of the highest social class.Another social class consists of the poor. They are respected because they are white. After all what determines one’s social class primarily is his or her skin color.

The Cunninghams belong to this social class. They maintain their life with the money borrowed. In return for the money borrowed, they give items from their farm.

Under them, in terms of status, are the Ewells, who are poor and disgusting. They are completely rude and so are their children, but they are still in a higher social class than black people since they are white. There is another class of wealthy or middle-class black people.

The reason why Calpurnia belongs to this class is her skin color. She has the same qualities as Aunt Alexandra. She can be counted as an ideal southern lady. She is a part of the Finch family and is respected. Had she not been a black person, she would be in the highest social class as Atticus Finch is.

Reverend Skyes is another member of the middle-class black people. He met Jem and Scout in church and showed his respect for them and their father for being his side as a white person, in the Tom Robinson case. He gave them a warm welcome and treated them friendly, therefore in the same class as Calpurnia. The lowest social class consists of poor and black people.

Lula belongs to this social class. She is the disgrace of the black people and her motto is that the black people should stick to own community and the white should stay with theirs. She accepts that they are separated. She is pitiless to both Calpurnia who is of her own kind and two innocent kids, Jem and Scout. There is something weird about black people, the majority of them are mature. They have no objection to insufficient importance that given to their work.

They do not revolt what is attributed to them. They accept being subservient, and worse things given to them like the First Purchase Church which is a rundown place. No matter how much they yielded to white people, they are not accepted by them. For the whites, blacks dangerousness remains. People who put an end to something are still in the white race. The fact that white people don’t treat white people equally contributes greatly to the way the social classes are separated.

In addition to all these, during the time of racial discrimination, there is an ongoing separation in gender as well. In America at that time, there was a term “Southern belle”. The women is characterized by Southern hospitality, a cultivation of beauty and a winning smile.

Women were supposed to be feminine. They were expected to have a good accent, good manners. They must be look after their family and take care of their children. In the book, Scout is made to conform to gender roles and this makes her unhappy with her situation. She is forced to wear a dress on the first day of the school but the dress she wears made her feel comfortless.

She does not feel like she is herself in it. However, she has to wear it because she has no choice but to keep up with it.She is always in the companionship with his brother Jem and their friend Dill. As growing up, she finds herself on the receiving comments from the boys such as, “Scout, I’m telling you for the last time, shut your trap or go home-I declare to the lord you’re gettin’ more like a girl every day” (57). Every time she warns Jem not to accept foolish dares and not to endanger himself, Jem emphasises that she lacks strength and courage. She remains silent and does not yield to any comment against her. Afterwards she would be excluded from joining adventures with them.As the time passes, she becomes distant from the two boys, who externalize her.

The two boys start to spend more time together. This caused Scout to come closer to the strong female of the book, Miss Maudie Atkinson. When Scout is left out of games by Jem and Dill, she takes shelter in Miss Maudie’s friendship. Miss Maudie is an optimistic woman who sees the bright side of every situation.

When her house is half burnt down in a fire, she says, “Always wanted a smaller house, Jem Finch. Gives me more yard. Just think, I’ll have more room for my azaleas now!” (80).

She becomes a figure Scout respects and trusts for advice, unlike other ladies in the town, who spend their time on gossiping and commenting on others lives, unnecessarily. Scout trusts her so that she reveals her secrets, and for her she is almost a mother figure. She reflects on what she sees in Miss Maudie. While being optimistic and kind, Miss Maudie is not afraid to voice her beliefs or move against the popular opinion. At a ladies’ tea, she is upset by the woman being intolerant and racist towards their black helper and snaps at one of the women complaining about her cook. Scout recalls that, “When Miss Maudie was angry her brevity was icy. Something had made her deeply angry, and her grey eyes were as cold as her voice” (257). Miss Maudie is disgusted by the ill thoughts of people and does not subscribe to them.

She also supports Scout and helps her to stand up against forces that try to push Scout into stereotypical judgments about others. In contrast to Miss Maudie, Scout’s Aunt Alexandra represents the ideal Southern family-oriented woman. She is at the other end of the image, with her conventional beliefs and constant disapproval of Scout’s behavior. She complains about Scout wearing overalls to Atticus who is frustrated by her frequent criticism, and Scout describes the exchange as “The only time I ever heard Atticus speak sharply to anyone” (90). Scout does not understand her Aunt’s obsession with her clothing. Aunt Alexandra repeats that she cannot be a lady if she does not wear dresses and that she should engage in more ‘girly’ activities.

She enforces this and tries to get Scout to conform to gender roles despite seeing her resistance to them. Scout reflects upon her Aunt’s attitude and says, “When Aunt Alexandra went to school, self-doubt could not be found in any textbook, so she knew not its meaning” (142). She does not support or guide Scout as Miss Maudie does, and tries to make her change. Scout does not follow her advice. Aunt Alexandra starts to sympathise at this point.

When dealing with a crisis during her ladies’ tea, Aunt Alexandra regains her composure and handles it gracefully, resulting in Scout remarking, “If Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I” (262).In conclusion, all kinds of prejudice had existed, and has been existing in the society. Racial prejudice tears apart black and white people, class bias separates whites from whites as well, and finally gender bias split women and men. In racial prejudice as we see that fair just works on white people, in class bias we see that people show respect each other only for high status, and in the gender bias the roles of Miss Maudie and Aunt Alexandra are the most significant in Scout’s maturing and her formation of the perspective of the world. In a nutshell To Kill a Mockingbird covers several themes that are challenging and often uncomfortable to encounter, such as racism and loss of innocence.

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