Inequality In "To Kill A Mockingbird"

1170 words - 5 pages

One of the major themes of To Kill a Mockingbird is the divisions in human society and how those cause inquality among people. Even though most people know that they shouldn't judge others, it's human nature, and because of this, it causes different sections of society. Most of the characters experience this throughout the novel. In To Kill a Mockingbird, certain divisions in society cause inequality in the town of Maycomb, and the characters and the reader both learn important lessons.
When unequal divides in society form, the person or group of people that are looked down upon don't get the respect that they should. In Maycomb, anyone different from the traditional southern ways gets ...view middle of the document...

If someone doesn't act like they are supposed to, then the town finds it a little odd. Women just don't get the same respect as the men in Maycomb. An example is Scout, and how Jem starts treating her in Chapter Four when he gets frustrated with her acting like a tomboy. Scout gets treated unfairly by Jem just because she is a girl and acts the way she wants to act. Women don't get the respectful jobs in town and they're just expected to stay home and look after the home and/or children, like Calpurnia and Miss Maudie.
The amount of wealth a person has in Maycomb is another division. The wealthy and unwealthy have a divide between them. No one really has a lot of money in Maycomb, but people tend to look down upon the poorest of the poor, like the Cunninghams and the Ewells. We can see this when Scout talks about Walter Cunningham and how his family can't ever pay money back because they have none. Everyone knows they're dirt poor, but no one really does much to help them. The kids in those familys probably won't get the same opportunites in life or a decent education like the rest of the kids, and the poor people don't get to experience as many good things in life, such as vacations or extra food.
A person's job also says something about a person in Maycomb and causes a divide. Atticus gets a lot of respect because of how smart he is and how difficult his job can be. However, people without good jobs don't really get the same respect and usually aren't as highly thought of. Since tradition says that one should have a good, respectable job, those people without one get looked down on and people with one are highly thought of.
Last, a person's history causes a divide in Maycomb's society. One side has socially acceptable (or hidden) histories, and the other has histories that are scandalous or made up in rumors. One character on the bad side of this divide was Boo Radley. No one really knows Boo's past because he keeps to himself all the time. To make up for this, people make up nasty rumors about Boo Radley and he gets treated unfairly. People think he's some crazy man, but in reality, he's a very kind character who doesn't deserve to be treated like that.
To sum up the divisions,...

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