Social Issues In To Kill A Mockingbird

Superior Essays
“When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow... I [Scout] maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem... said it began the summer Dill came to us” (chapter 1). Imagine a small town in 1931 shaken up by a rape trial; Drastic consequences will follow. This is the setting for the Coming of age story by Harper Lee, otherwise known as To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus Finch, a well known lawyer, defends Tom Robinson, a black man, from an accusation of rape by Bob Ewell, a white man and Mayella Ewell’s father. Atticus’ two children, Jem, the elder, and Scout, the younger, must learn the truth of the world at a young age. In an attack after leaving the School’s Halloween pageant, Bob Ewell breaks Jem’s arm, …show more content…
Farther north, the consequences would have been less severe as the racism was less violent in the north than the deep south. Maycomb county is in Alabama, a state that no one would argue is not a part of the south. Had this trail taken place in Vermont, a state that no one would argue is not part of the north. The north did not segregate with state legislation and many states prohibited segregation as evidenced by the map to the right. In the people of the north were more open to change and were often less violent. Bob Ewell might have verbally assaulted Jem and Scout, but the chances of Jem breaking his arm would be decreased.The inequality between whites and blacks caused the trail in the first place. In a world where race does not matter, Mayella Ewell could have had a relationship with a black man without the horrific consequences which followed in To Kill a Mockingbird. In Atticus's closing speech to the jury, he states, “She was white, and she tempted a Negro. She did something that in our society is unspeakable: she kissed a black man. Not an old Uncle, but a strong young Negro man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards,” and, “ The witnesses for the state, with the exception of the sheriff of Maycomb County, have presented themselves to you gentlemen, to this court, in …show more content…
Explaining his analysis of Maycomb social classes to Scout, Jem says, “There’s four kinds of folks in the world. There’s the ordinary kind like us and the neighbors, there’s the kind like the Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells down at the dump, and the Negroes” (Chapter 23). His childlike analysis is both simplistic and accurate. The Ewells were only above Blacks because they were white; they were 3 classes below the Finches. The Fiches standing up to the Ewells scared Bob Ewell into a defensive position. In a world where economics did not determine one’s social class, Bob Ewell would have felt less threatened and would have remained home instead of attacking Jem and Scout
There are many entities who could be at fault for Jem and his broken arm. Others may argue Mayella was at fault for the attack. Mayella was fully aware of what she was doing when she tried to seduce Tom Robinson, but she still attempted to. There were other boys whom Mayella could seduce, but she choose to break social code for Tom Robinson. Others may argue that the setting cannot be at fault because time travel is not possible and the case cannot magically move to another location. An argument could be made that there will always be social inequality and no amount of legislation can change

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