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To Kill A Mocking Bird. By Harper Lee. Is To Kill A Mocking Bird A Tradgedy?

1023 words - 4 pages

'Is to kill a mocking bird a tragedy?' To answer this question, you must firstly clarify your understanding of a tragedy. The dictionary would describe it as being 'A dram of elevated theme and diction and with fatal or disastrous conclusion' but could be described simply as a sad event.The question, 'Is To Kill a Mocking Bird a tragedy?', is built around a number of different injustices. Even though the book has its happier more carefree moments the underling issues such as slavery, social prejudice, gender prejudice, racism and poverty are the ones we must take into consideration, for if 'To Kill a Mocking Bird' is a tragedy then these are the main tragic events.By further exploring these injustice issues I hope to answer the question is 'To Kill a Mocking Bird a tragedy?'Boo Radley, Mr. Dolphus and Bob Ewell are all the victims of tragic social prejudice directed by an overpowering small town social community. This community of stereotypes makes opinions judged on social status, beliefs, wealth, health, appearance and breeches of the accepted normal behaviour. By further exploring each of these behaviours I hope to clarify my understanding of social prejudice in the book, and state whether it is tragic or not.The hermit like ways of the Radley family prompted the community to make lurid assumptions about Boo. They would seek to use him as a scapegoat and describe him as a monster. For example 'when people's azaleas froze in a cold snap, it was because Boo had breathed on them' 'when people's chickens and household pets were found mutilated it was Boo's work, the pecans that grew on their trees were even considered dangerous. The tragedy of it all is the way people drew conclusions about Boo. It is made clear in the final scenes of the novel in which he saves Scout and Jem from Mr. Ewell and we learn that he is not the disturbed evil man. The community is perhaps crippled by their own narrow-mindedness into believing he is a madman. It is only through Jem, Scout and Dill's curiosity that different shades of Boo are finally illuminated. One can make the assumption that such abusive rumours in fact tragically, make Boo withdraw further into his shell.The Ewells are victim of poverty, brought on by the great Depression of 1929. We know from the novel that they are really quite a mean family. Boris Ewell demonstrates this in his statement "Ain't no snot nosed slut of a school teacher ever born c'n make me do nothin'! You ain't makin' me go nowhere, missus. You just remember that, you ain't makin' me go nowhere!" Something that can be said for all the Ewells. However it is interesting in the courtroom that Scout recognises Mayella as one of the 'loneliest' people she ever met. No one really pictures a Ewell being lonely and longing for companionship. It is a calamity that nothing is done about the Ewell...

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