Thematic Message: Good Vs. Evil Essay

1592 words - 6 pages

“And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by, listen to the screaming pigs being killed in a ditch and covered with quicklime, watch the mountains of oranges slop down to a putrefying ooze; and in the eyes of the people there is a failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath” (Steinbeck 349). John Steinbeck, the author of The Grapes of Wrath, portrays the migrant’s resentment of the California land owners and their way of life and illustrates that the vagrants from Oklahoma are yearning for labor, provisions, and human decency. Similarly in To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee elucidates the concept that people should be treated with inclusive human dignity and be affected by good aspects rather than deleterious behavior. In addition to both novels, “Suffering with Them”, “Evil’s Fate”, and “To Hope” share the same concurrent theme. To Kill a Mockingbird and The Grapes of Wrath and “Suffering with Them”, “Evil’s Fate”, and “To Hope” illustrate a synonymous, thematic message that evil’s inhumanity, during corrupt times, induces a perception of hopefulness for good to conquer immorality.
Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, communicates a central idea that society has good and bad qualities by using an epigraphic symbol and dynamic characterization of the novel’s protagonist, Scout. The theme of To Kill a Mockingbird is that individuals affect society in both good and bad aspects. Lee demonstrates this idea by utilizing a mockingbird as the primary symbol of the novel and characterizing Scout to reveal and understand that both good and bad exist in the world. Scout learns that all a mockingbird does is good, it sings, but never does anything that people hate (Lee 90). In the novel, mockingbirds symbolize the innocence and good in people; therefore, “to kill a mockingbird” would mean for something bad to destroy a good person. Scout comprehends this message from her father when she tells him that hurting Arthur “Boo” Radley would be like shooting a mockingbird (Lee 276). This allows Lee to project characters like Tom Robinson and Arthur “Boo” Radley as “mockingbirds” because both of them are destroyed by evil depicted by Maycomb’s racial prejudice and social discrimination, “Tom Robinson’s a colored man, Jem. No jury in this part of the world’s going to say, “We think your guilty, but not very,” on a charge like that” (Lee 219). Scout realizes this from her own experience and from her father, Atticus. Because Scout was raised by her father, the “moral voice” of Maycomb, she too understands the differences in people and that even though there are bad qualities in society, good exists as well when you truly understand individuality, “ “Atticus, he was real nice….” … “Most people are Scout, when you finally see them”” (Lee 281). To Kill a Mockingbird and The Grapes of Wrath share a corresponding thematic conception about people’s atrociousness to the weaker, ignorant members of society.
In The Grapes of Wrath,...

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