Isolationism In To Kill A Mockingbird

1635 Words 7 Pages
Imagine being a six year old child, and watching brutal racism and injustice growing up, while trying to hold on to your innocence and own opinions. That’s the struggle of one Jean Louise Finch, who prefers to go by “Scout.” In Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout, friend Dill, and brother Jem must face friends and family turning on them, as father Atticus makes a life changing decision of defending a black man in court in the 1930’s. They must learn how to deal with their situation in a calm way no matter the instigations. Also the articles Lynching by Mark Twain, and Why I Joined the Klan, by Studs Terkel, corroborate the themes throughout To Kill a Mockingbird. The three most prominent themes in To Kill a Mockingbird and these …show more content…
Certain characters face being alone with no one to help them in their darkest times. Boo Radley, a character surrounding Scout, Jem, and Dills childhood years, is shut out from the rest of the world. He’s holed up inside his house throughout virtually the entire story. He shows the effects of isolationism. “The doors of the Radley house were closed on weekdays as well as Sundays, and Mr. Radley’s boy was not seen again for fifteen years” (Lee 13). Boo made a small mistake with friends, and ended up being isolated for most of his later years. In isolation, he had to face rumors and ridicule about what he’s done and who he is. Scout, Jem, and even the adults of the town, treat him poorly behind his back simply because he’s isolated from them. Isolationism influences the way others see you, and even how you see yourself. Mayella Ewell herself also faces isolationism. Working alone in her family’s house by the dump, she does almost everything herself, given the work she handed out to Tom Robinson. In her testimony Mayella shows how isolated she is compared to most. “‘Miss Mayella,’ said Atticus, in spite of himself, ‘a nineteen-year-old girl like you must have friends. Who are your friends?’ The witness frowned as if puzzled, ‘Friends?’” (Lee 245) Mayella is a stranger to the world outside her dump. Living with her family and taking care of them has isolated her from everyone else. Her isolationism makes her do …show more content…
The “war” is approached as black against white, a racial war. Bob Ewell, a white man living in the time period of the 1930’s, a predominantly white time, speaks during the trial about what happened to his poor Mayella. When describing the tragedy to the court, he chooses to say, “I seen that black nigger yonder ruttin’ on my Mayella!” (Lee 231) The harsh and extreme use of language goes to show how awful this “war” truly is. For one man to bring down another simply out of pure ignorant hatred, is almost the definition of true war. Another reeling detail about this quote, is how he describes what Tom allegedly does to his daughter. He disrespects what happened to his little girl by saying “ruttin’” just so he can degrade Tom even more. It goes to show that even when loved ones are involved, they will be brought down as long as the enemy does as well. Bob Ewell also went to even more drastic measures in this war, in another way. Instead of attacking the enemy, he attacks the enemies allies. Bob goes after Jem and Scout as they’re walking home from a Halloween costume competition, to try to get to Atticus. Mr. Tate describes Bob Ewell as a, “Low-down skunk with enough liquor in him to make him brave enough to kill children” (Lee 360). The drastic measures that he Bob went to to get to Atticus, simply because he made the enemy (Tom) look like a better man than

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