Theme Of Isolationism In To Kill A Mockingbird

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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 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, a time of racial injustice and segregation. 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 articles are heartbreak of betrayal, isolationism, …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 is like. Scout, Jem, and even the adults of the town, treat him poorly behind his back simply because he’s disconnected 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.. 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 distanced her from everyone else. Her isolationism makes her do extreme things for her time period, such as have feelings for a black man, and make advances on him without thinking of the consequences. Consequently, her situation is not one of her own doing. This makes it much tougher for Mayella. In the article, Lynching, Charles Dickens explains the difficulties of isolation. He shows how it affects those who are secluded, and how it ties into the instincts of human beings. “It must be that the increase [in lynching] comes of the inborn human instinct to imitate-that and man’s commonest weakness, his

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