Man's inhumanity to man is a phrase that was first written down by the poet Robert Burns in his poem titled Man was made to mourn: A Dirge in 1784.
"Many and sharp the num'rous ills
Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make ourselves
Regret, remorse, and shame!
And man, whose heav'n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn, -
Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!"
This phrase has been displayed throughout history including in the times in which the book To Kill a Mockingbird was written. The two main examples of this include the tragedy of the Jews in World War II and the African American's during the slave trade, and throughout time.
The phrase man's inhumanity to man is one of the major themes of the book To Kill a Mockingbird. Throughout the book is examples of inhumane acts that even children recognize. Similarities and differences between the treatment of animals and humans are shown that cannot be disregarded. Certain scenes in the book scream out from the pages, "DO YOU NOT SEE THE IRONY?" Unfortunately, the only people who truly support justice either aren't powerful enough to get past the stubbornness of prejudice, aren't brave enough to take a stand, or are too young.
The comparison between humans and animals is made between the two characters Tom Robinson, an African American, and Tim Johnson, the town dog. When Tim Johnson became ill with rabies, there was no hesitation in the people to stay imprisoned in their homes, locked up tight, until the dog was shot dead. When Tom Robinson was accused of rape no one rested till he went on trial, was subjected to being guilty, and was shot, trying to escape the confinement he didn't deserve. One important difference was made, after the dog was shot, everyone saw it as a loss, but when Tom Robinson was shot they said, "Good Riddance." Another difference was that during Tim Johnson's death, everyone was watching from the comfort of their homes, whereas at Tom Robinson's trial, people came from far and wide to few the trial as though it were a fair.
One of the ironic situation in this book takes place when Scout is in school during their current events. The topic of the how Hitler was treating the Jews came was read from a newspaper article. In rebuttal, the teacher, Miss Gates, proudly declares that Germany is a Dictatorship, whereas the United States is a Democracy where supposedly no one is persecuted, "Equal rights for all, special privileges for none." The irony is that Tom Robinson was killed not long ago, he was declared guilty, all because he was African American. Miss Gates proudly states, "Persecution comes from people who are prejudice. Prejudice, there are no better people in the world than the Jews, and why Hitler doesn't think so is a mystery to me." Yet it's not a mystery to the people of Maycomb country why African Americans aren't the best people in the world.
Inhumanity among men is an ongoing theme not only in the...