Vices In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird
18 May 2016
The Vices in To Kill A Mockingbird
Society can have vices that are harmful to a community and can affect the people in that community in a negative way. In the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, the author Harper Lee uses her characters to demonstrate these vices through the wrongful behaviours that society displays during the period the book is set in. These behaviours lead to the irrational ideas people make towards a group of people or a certain gender. The story clearly uses these harmful vices through means of racism, sexism and forcing the ideals of another onto a community to educate the readers of these behaviours.
First of all, the misjudgement of black people is demeaning as it represents …show more content…
For instance, the community think women are less able to work. For example, Atticus is openly is openly displaying the degree of sexism to his children and says "For one thing, Miss Maudie can 't serve on a jury because she 's a woman...I doubt if we 'd ever get a complete case tried—the ladies 'd be interrupting to ask questions.".(Lee 296 ) Clearly the belief is that women are indecisive and men need to protect them from problems which is a unprogressive way of thinking which readers can compare to modern day equality. The belief that girls have to wear dresses in public is absurd. Aunt Alexandra forces Scout to wear a dress instead of her overalls because she is too boyish. It is wrong to force a dress code in society to look lady-like as a person’s clothing can be part of their identity, Lastly, the thought that there is a certain way a girl should act is wrongful. For example, Jem tells Scout that “It’s time you started bein’ a girl and acting right!”(Lee 153) because he gains a new set of values after reading to Mrs. Dubose on the day of her death. These values affect Scout harmfully as it imposes that she is not a girl because of the way she acts. Though through these comments the audience can learn about how immoral it is to tell someone to live their life a certain way. To conclude, sexism defines how a society of …show more content…
First of all, the parents of Maycomb teach their children to use hateful slurs. In turn, the children often use these offensive words to refer to others. An example of this is when Burris Ewell calls his teacher a “[S]not-nosed slut of a school teacher”(Lee 37) since his father Bob Ewell commonly uses offensive slurs in his household as he is abusive and an alcoholic. The treatment of a child by their parents affects how they treat others because they do not know any other way of treatment. Secondly, the forced equality in a school environment is offsetting when trying to learn. Scout experiences this when she is able to read before any other student and receives punishment from the teacher for being above the others in terms of reading ability. This is harmful as a school is for teaching students to do things rather than punishing them for already being able to do so. The children learn to be racist from their parents. The Finch children 's’ cousin Francis openly calls his own uncle a “Nigger-lover” because he is Tom’s Lawyer. The language he learns is most likely something he overheard as people are not born racist and they do not know what is respectful to use. To sum it up, the forced ideals can affect the people around it because they view it as