Isolation, Isolation And Loneliness In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

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When discovering our own personal identities, there are a great number of things that can sway the way that identity ends up looking. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee explores how the influence of isolation, discrimination and loneliness can reflect upon our identities. Evidence of how these feelings impact our individual identities can clearly be seen in the lives of characters Tom Robinson, Mayella Ewell and Boo (Arthur) Radley.

Boo Radley is perhaps the most misunderstood character that Harper Lee crafted. Scout and Jem believe he is a monster who eats raw animals, a great giant of a man with yellow teeth and perpetually bloodstained hands. However throughout the novel we are reminded on multiple occasions that Boo is simply
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The people that surround her abuse Mayella physically and mentally while treating her as nothing more than an extra hand. Scout even says this about Mayella in Chapter 19, “As Tom Robinson gave his testimony, it came to me that Mayella Ewell must have been the loneliest person in the world. She was even lonelier than Boo Radley, who had not been out of the house in twenty-five years.” It was because of this loneliness that she reached out for Tom Robinson. Mayella saw something in Tom that she hadn’t ever seen in her dismal and secluded life; compassion. Her loneliness compelled her towards a man who was the recipient of fierce hatred from the citizens of Maycomb, which led her, probably under the guidance of her father, to provide a false testimony in Tom’s case. Had Mayella grown up in a world other than the one her father dictated for her, she might have not felt the need to accuse Tom for committing a false crime. Tom knows the truth of Mayella’s desperate position and we can see it when he says, "Yes, suh. I felt right sorry for her, she seemed to try more 'n the rest of 'em-" in Chapter 19. Atticus knows it too when he presses again and again for Mayella to admit to the jury that her father would violently beat her. Mayella is a trapped and barred in a world that keeps her in crushing loneliness. Her solitary life causes a sense …show more content…
Tom is the town’s scapegoat, all of their wrongdoings get thrown at him based simply on the fact that he is a black man. We as the reader find that almost every person in the town is angled against Tom right from the start. This can be seen when Scout’s cousin Francis calls Atticus “... nothin’ but a n*gger-lover!” (chap. 9) for defending Tom on the trial. The way that a child can have so much hatred for one race is horribly reflective of the way the town treats Tom. Because of the loathing of Tom and his race face in Maycomb, he finds that he must always be vigilant and cautious when dealing with his white counterparts. Tom expresses his fear of misstepping in his testimony when he says, “... it weren’t safe for any n*gger to be in a -- fix like that.” Tom says this because he knows all too well of the racism which would immediately incriminate him in any place of law. He knows there is no chance of a black man getting an innocent ruling when the ‘victim’ is a white woman. Tom also knows that the chances of him getting out of jail are slim so he uses up the last of his courage and jumps the fence only to get shot moments later. Sadly, Tom’s identity shaped around the hatred of others; propelling him towards a life of extreme wariness and fear of his own neighbors. Currently people all over the world are having their identities formed upon a platform of systemic racism and discrimination which causes the same sort of hopelessness

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