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To Kill a Mockingbird

an overview of the themes represented in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird
by

Terina Wyeth

on 26 October 2011

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Transcript of To Kill a Mockingbird

Racism To Kill a Mockingbird Family belonging good vs evil social inequality growing up / education Other Major Characters The Finch Family Dill
(Charles Baker Harris) Member Boo Radley Tom Robinson Jem
(Jeremy) Scout
(Jean-Louise) Atticus (cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr Calpurnia Burris Mayella Bob The Ewell Family Uncle Jack Francis Heck Tait Aunt Alexandra Judge Taylor To Kill a Mockingbird is an exploration of human morality, and presents a constant conversation regarding the inherent goodness or evilness of people. Despite the challenge of overcoming the town's deeply ingrained racism and forcing people to change their social perspectives, Atticus struggles on, because he believes that one day, goodness will prevail over the evils of racism and racial equality will exist. clear conflict between institutionalized education and education in the home. Clearly, Lee is expressing a lack of belief in the institutionalized educational system, and in fact suggests it might do more harm than good. Perhaps a more valuable education can be found in the home. "folks are just folks" Scout and the other children have a very clear understanding of the social inequalities in their town, but see these inequalities as natural and permanent. The Finch family falls rather high up in the social hierarchy, while the Ewell family falls at the bottom. However, this hierarchy only includes white people. Maycomb's black population fall beneath all white families in Maycomb, including the Ewells, whom Atticus labels as "trash". During the Depression era, blacks were still highly subjugated members of society. Blacks were not permitted to commingle with whites in public settings, as exemplified in the courthouse physical separation of races and in the clearly distinct black and white areas of town. Moreover, things like intermarriage were almost unheard of, and sorely looked down upon. Tom Robinson is convicted purely because he is a black man and his accuser is white. The evidence is so powerfully in his favor, that race is clearly the single defining factor in the jury's decision. Atticus fights against racism, and a few other townspeople are on his side, including Miss Maudie and Judge Taylor. Jem and Scout also believe in racial equality, but are obviously in the minority. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. Lee emphasizes the slow-paced, good-natured feel of life in Maycomb. She often deliberately juxtaposes small-town values and Gothic images in order to examine more closely the forces of good and evil.
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