One Type Of People And The Uniting Of Humanity

1097 words - 5 pages

Alan Ashley-Pitt, a fictitious character created by a Santa Barbara greeting card company once said, “The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has” (Ashley-Pitt). To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee in 1960 shares this lesson with Ashley-Pitt: muteness and cowardliness to stand up for one’s beliefs removes hope from someone’s ability to act; and optimism in pursuit of the betterment of society turns to cynicism in the lost dream of equality. This distinction that segregation serves a purpose to protect is hyperbolic, and is designed preserve a feeling of superiority. Jem’s statement about the “four types of folk in this world” (227) is invalid because To Kill a Mockingbird teaches that dividing individuals by skin colour is meritless, and it is awful to reject someone who does not share a similar history or way of life. Atticus teaches his children that no human being is different. As a jurist, he believes that no man, woman or child holds a license to harm another – through word or deed, when such an individual does nothing wrong. Atticus’ beliefs are ironically shown through the conviction and death of Tom Robinson and that racism results tragically, in the destruction of human spirit and life.
Calpurnia’s reprimand towards Scout about Walter Cunningham’s peculiarities shows one must look beyond the eccentricities of another’s life, and judging someone because of their skin tone is superficial. Scout’s position in society, in collaboration with her age makes her more observant to the horrors of life in the 1930s: where racism is common between members of the “professionals” and the negro community. Calpurnia and Atticus’ teaching of equality for all transcends when Calpurnia reprimands Scout for identifying Walter Cunningham uncivilized actions when he is invited to eat in the Finch household. Calpurnia says, “Hush your mouth! Don’t matter who they are, anybody who sets foot in this house’s yo’comp’ny…! Yo’ folks might be better’n the Cunninghams but it don’t count for nothin’ the way you’re disgracin’’em” (33). The discussion between Calpurnia and Scout is central to the theme of To Kill a Mockingbird: where Scout learns that one may have more money or be more civilized, but passing judgement about how one lives his or her life must have no bearing about how they are treated by society.
Atticus’ lesson to Scout and Jem about how it is extremely immoral to harm an individual who does no wrong. As a predominant father figure within the household, and because Scout and Jem were raised by a black cook, the children learn through an unsuspecting gift of an air rifle one is not above another. The use of the mockingbird as a symbol within this novel explains Atticus’ view on how we treat other people that “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they...

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