To Kill A Mockingbird- The Effect Of Environment On Classism


In an organized society one is usually faced with a restrictive social ladder that constrains its occupants into stereotyped categories. In this type of jaundiced backdrop, it is only natural to parrot the actions that surround you. This concept is one of the underlying themes in Harper Lee¡¯s To Kill a Mockingbird, a coming of age story set in the close-knit, sleepy Southern town of Maycomb in the 1930¡¯s. Six-year-old Scout Finch¡¯s father, Atticus, is a rarity in bigoted Maycomb. He, as both a lawyer and a human being, stands up for his democratic beliefs and encourages his children to stand up for their own, though they may stand alone. In stark contrast with her father are the ...

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from the time of birth; aptly demonstrated by Scout in different stages of her moral development, her initial reaction to class difference, her response to Atticus¡¯ guidance, and the gradual formation of her own opinions.
As the reader first encounters Scout, she is found to be influenced by a categorizing, status-oriented environment, as evidenced by her behavior towards the low status Cunninghams. Maycomb has a hostile view of people who come from families with a certain income and act a certain way. In the spirit of such animosity, one¡¯s character is unthinkingly assumed to correspond with one¡¯s often-unjust image. While giving the history of Maycomb at the start of the novel, Scout mentions the last two people her father defended, saying, ¡°Atticus had urged them to accept the state¡¯s generosity in allowing them to plead Guilty to second-degree murder and escape with their lives, but they were Haverfords, in Maycomb County, a name synonymous with jackass¡± (pg. 5). In ...

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class of whites, he must be looked upon as an inferior, one that is not to be spoken of on the same level. Failing to be considered as company implies he is not worthy of being treated as an equal. As Scout describes Walter as ¡°just a Cunningham,¡± the reader receives the gist that Cunninghams must be insignificant as to fail to warrant any proper civility, for they are portrayed in a dismissive manner. Scout is apparently knowledgeable about the stereotype of the Cunninghams as well as the Haverfords, an image picked up from her environment and one that transcends to an event in daily life. She is undergoing her natural learning process in observing the attitude around her, then ...

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Added: 2/25/2007 12:44:12 PM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1856
Pages: 7

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