Superstitions In To Kill A Mockingbird

1064 Words 5 Pages
“At any given moment, public opinion is a chaos of superstition, misinformation, and prejudice” (Gore Vidal). In Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee suggests that innocent people are so often misunderstood. Growing up in the small southern town of Maycomb County, young Scout learns through her father, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view… until you climb into their skin and walk around in it.” (Harper Lee 30). This is exemplified through the numerous victims of injustices within Maycomb, such as Tom Robinson, Mayella Ewell, and the mysterious Boo Radley. Whether it's through racial prejudice, the caste system, or simple superstition, people will oppress and shun away those who …show more content…
Only Scout and her father are able to see the real Boo Radley. At first, Scout remembers the Radley house and residents from society's point of view. “Inside the House lived a malevolent phantom. [...] All stealthy crimes committed in Maycomb were his [Boo] work. [...] people still looked at the Radley place, unwilling to discard their initial suspicions” (Lee 9). Maycomb rumors did not intend for Boo to come off as friendly and welcoming- in fact, they intended to portray him as the opposite. People thought it was their right to let themselves into his secret life by creating false rumors about him to keep their slow town entertained. The real Boo Radley that is seen by Scout is not uncovered until the twisted web of conflicts begins to unwind. As Scout rests on Boo’s front porch during the conclusion of the book, she is able to see the town and replay her past from a new perspective: Boo’s perspective. “Will you take me home?” He almost whispered it, in the voice of a child” (Lee 282). Even though on the outside, Boo is a 33 year old man, trapped on the inside is the mind of a young man. A man who is left in the innocent phase of life; unjaded, as Dolphus Raymond would say. “I turned to go home [from the Radley house]. Street lights winked down the street all the way to town. I …show more content…
“Atticus has used every tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret court of men’s hearts, Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella opened her mouth and screamed” (Lee 245). Although Tom had done no wrong against Mayella, his skin color mattered more to the jury than his right to a fair trial. It became clear to Scout how Maycomb thinks of negroes contemptuously. They sit in their own section of the courthouse, and live in their own separate part of town among themselves and the Ewell’s. Even in her own home Scout is spoon fed prejudice from her bratty cousin Francis. “Grandma says it’s bad enough he [Atticus] lets you all run wild, but now he’s turned out a nigger-lover we’ll never be able to walk the streets of Maycomb agin [Sic]. He's ruinin’ the family that's what he's doing” (Lee 85). Francis’ views of blacks speak for a majority of people in Maycomb, including Mrs.Dubose, Aunt Alexandra, and more. Through it all, it didn't matter from the start that Tom was innocent of the crimes facing him; he was guilty all along in the eyes of the jury and Maycomb county for being a black

Related Documents