Violence And Alienation In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

1594 words - 6 pages

Harper Lee has a number of characters that contribute to the novel and violent scenes in To Kill a Mockingbird, some that have meaning and some that do not. Some characters that appear often and some that have a minimal role in being seen in the novel, but the characters that do not appear often seem to have the biggest impact on the novel. There are three characters that are looked down on by society around them, one because of race and two because of their morals. Society disregarded these people simply because they were afraid that they could be like them and the unknown. Lee uses violence and alienation to help depict the things that are wrong within the small society.
Mr. Dolphus Raymond, a man who pretended to be the town drunk so that he could be with the woman that he loved. Mr. Raymond is a white man that happened to fall in love with a black woman. Living in Southern Alabama one could not be with an African American if they were white. He would walk around Maycomb County with a coke bottle in a paper bag and just drink from that every day. “When I come to town, which is seldom, if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can say Dolphus Raymond’s in the clutches of whiskey—that’s why he won’t change his ways. He can’t help himself, that’s why he lives the way he lives the way he does” (Lee, 268).
He came from a rich white family that likely had slaves in the past and knew that if he was not acting like a drunk that society would shun him for being with an African American woman and having interracial children with her. However, he figured that if he acted as the town drunk no one would shun him because he would not know any better. Mr. Raymond showed that it was okay to do what was different from the norms of society for one to be happy. He made it possible to show that not everyone that was white had to be with a person from their own race and be happy, since he was happy with an African American woman. Mr. Raymond was willing to risk his reputation to be happy which is what most people will not do today.
Arthur “Boo” Radley was another character that was alienated from society; however he was confined to his house for so many years that he eventually just became separated from the outside world. Many people were afraid of him because of rumors they heard saying he was psychotic, but in all reality his only problem was that he had one run in with the law.
“[W]hen the sheriff arrived…old Mr. Radley said no Radley was going to any asylum, when it was suggested that a season in Tuscaloosa might be helpful to Boo. Boo wasn’t crazy, he was high-strung at times. It was right to shut him up, Mr. Radley conceded, but insisted that Boo not be charged with anything: he was not a criminal. The Sheriff hadn’t the heart to put him in jail alongside Negroes, so Boo was locked in the courthouse basement” (Lee 14).
Boo is like a monster to Dill, Jem and Scout throughout the beginning of the novel although once the...

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