Theme Of Neglect In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Dill is a mockingbird as, despite only ever wanting a caring family, he is made to feel abandoned. He expresses the impact of this feeling in his decision to run away from, what he describes as, a neglectful home. Stating that he left because he feels as if his parents “[don’t] want" or need "[him]” as they never spend time with him. In making him feel so “[unwanted]”, his parents, the very people meant to protect him, lead him to question his self-worth. That is, they make him question whether it is his fault that "they sta[y] gone”, or away from him, all the time". Dill's pain is also illustrated in his short-term goal of becoming a "clown"—an idea brought by his thinking that, in having little worth, he can do not "one thing" to impact others …show more content…
A local townsman named Atticus Finch initially depicts the neglect Burris endures through a description of the boy's father. He states that Burris' father, Mr. Ewell, would rather “spen[d]” his "relief check[s]", or money, on green whiskey” than on food for his starving “children”. It is in this dismissal of his "children['s]", and thus Burris', needs that Mr. Ewell establishes the independence likely involved in Burris' home life. That is, his having to rely on himself due to the negligence of his father. The fallout of his self-reliance is most noticeably seen in his lack of education and poor temper—both of which are the result of minimal adult intervention. It is due to those fallouts, forced upon him by an uncaring father, that he is denied the opportunity of a better life and must continue being "Maycomb['s]" "disgrace". Moreover, his town expects the "disgrace" from him. That is, they expect him, in being an Ewell, to become as "[downright] contentious”, “poor” and “dirty” as his predecessors. However, they, by refusing to look past his last name, only contribute to his struggle. Burris is a mockingbird as those around him, through their denouncement and negligence, set him up for failure and hurt him by never allowing him to

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