Theme Of Belonging In To Kill A Mockingbird

1373 Words 6 Pages
How is the notion of belonging explored through the people, place or culture in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird ?

There are many elements that contribute to a sense of belonging; one can have an understanding of places and acceptance of culture, but belonging ultimately comes from the connections to other people. In Harper Lee 's novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, the experiences of belonging are shown through the characters, the setting, and the culture of the small town of Maycomb. Lee’s novel discusses the theme of belonging throughout, which thought to show how different people in the 1960s fit in their set roles in society. Through the voice of Scout who is affected by these roles greatly, the novel shows that the roles are placed on the
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Women and femininity are main themes showing how the different people belong in different situations, but male and female equality is a lost idea in Maycomb. Scout is affected by this greatly as most of the time felt as though she didn 't belong in the ‘girl world’. Women are supposed to learn to cook, clean and raise children. “For one thing, Miss Maudie can 't serve on a jury because she 's a woman…”, though the rule made that women cannot serve jury is to protect the “polite fiction” of the women. “I was more at home in my father 's world. People like Mr Heck Tate did not trap you with innocent questions to make fun of you…”, at this point Scout feels like she understands men and their rules, and that she can trust them to behave in a certain way. The idea of being “at home” in the male world would be difficult for Scout as womanhood is an undiscovered country that she has to discover and map in order to make it her own. Her Aunt Alexander fit right in “Aunt Alexander fitted into the wild of Maycomb like a hand into a glove. but never into the world of Jem and me”. Lee’s novel shows how different belong in different situations, but Scout is not the only person made to feel this way. Boo Radley, who has lived on the same street as the Finches, but he has remained in the house for many years and is the main topic of discussion for myths and rumours, which has made him feel as though he …show more content…
The trial makes the children aware of the discrimination that confronts the negroes in their daily life. The whites very much “belong” within Maycomb 's town limits, but the blacks live on the fringes of town—barely tolerated by some, and not at all tolerated by Bob Ewell that is where Tom Robinson is concerned. Atticus teaches his children and his community how to stand up for one 's beliefs in the face of prejudice and ignorance by defending a black man, “If I couldn’t hold up my head in turn, I couldn’t represent this country in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again”. Atticus believes that morally, and legally, he must defend Tom Robinson against the charges of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell. He knows that he is likely to fail because it is rare for an African-American, in a racist town like Maycomb, to be accorded legal justice, but this does not discourage him. He states, “the one thing that does not abide by majority rule is one’s conscience”. Atticus portrays the main idea in the book which is “Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”, the mockingbird is a metaphor for Tom Robinson because he is the

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