this town, and eventhough things are simply “not fair”, that’s just the way today is.
. Boo Radley, who appears to be a “town freak.” Not much is really known
of him, just hearsay stories that people whisper to one another and to
their children to warn them of the ‘so called’ evils that may occur –
when they, really, are the evil ones. (this is due to the fear of the
. One story told is regarding an incident with the Radley’s father, who
is supposedly stabbed with a pair of scissors, while Boo is under the
wrong influence of the wrong group of friends.
. Mrs. Dubose is a story within herself. Introduced as an annoying old
lady, who always screams insulting remarks at the children, she seems
like the typical crotchety elderly women
. Atticus is a single parent, who faces the world raising two children.
He has a reputation for being an open-minded, fair man, overflowing
. Tom Robinson, the accused, has a reputation within his own black
community as an upright, honest, church-going family man. The Ewells,
as a contrast to Robinson, aren’t exactly noted for being model
citizens, Bob Ewell, the father, has a reputation for being a town
drunkard, allowing his children to miss out on valuable education.
. The major event that has started to unravel, prior to the novel is the
case between Tom Robinson and the Ewells. Robinson, who was a hired
hand, is accused of raping Bob’s daughter, Mayella. This case falls
into Atticus’s lap, not because he believes that Robinson is innocent,
but it is his job to prove the latter so.
. When Tom takes to the stand, the obviously true story comes out. It
becomes evident that Mayella Ewell was a very lonely person whose only
crime was to kiss a black man. Her father, Bob Ewell, beat and raped
her for this crime. Bob Ewell forced her to say that Tom did it, so
that he wouldn’t get into trouble.
. After the verdict is announced, guilty, the children, as well as
members of the community, discuss and react to the verdict.
. BOO VS. SOCIETY – The fear of the unknown plays a major role in this
conflict. Viewed as the town freak, the parents of the community tell
stories of Boo, and warn their children against going near him, or
even worse: becoming him. These stories and the curiosity built up
inside every child leads Radley to be a ‘set off’ from society.
. ROBINSON VS. WHITE COMMUNITY – As another ‘mockingbird’ of the story,
he is wrongly accused, and loses his life due to racism of the
community. Even though it is obvious, to every person in the jury,
that Robinson could have not committed the crime, and that he is an
upright and religious church-going man, he is still accused of rape
and is jailed.
. EWELLS VS. ATTICUS – During the trial Atticus was the lawyer for Tom.
He proved through various examples that Bob was guilty, not Tom. This
completely, but silently, destroys any type of credibility that Bob
possessed. He now resented Atticus and sought revenge on him. He
attacked things that Atticus held most dear, his children. After a
Halloween ball, Jem and Scout were walking home. Bob Ewell followed
them and attacked them with a knife. Boo Radley saved them.
. Prejudice runs rampant in Maycomb County. The town has prejudice
against blacks. This is shown against Tom Robinson, as well as the
Black community. It is obvious that Tom is innocent through evidence
presented by Atticus. But since the jury ‘cannot’ find a black man
innocent over a white family, they find him guilty.
. No one bothers to find out about the real Arthur ‘Boo’ Radley. He may
seem a little scary but the town ridicules him and shuns him from
society. All children have been raised to fear him as the town freak.
If they took the time to see the world from his eyes they might not be
so prejudiced about his situation.
SMALL TOWN, BIG PROBLEMS!!
“Prejudice is the ‘Big’ topic in our small town today, although there’s
really nothing new about it. In fact, this whole ‘damn’ country was built
on deep prejudicial values…”
– By Alex Grinter –
Don’t believe me? Can you say ‘Prejudice’? Can you say ‘Racism’? How
about ‘Intolerance’? Or ‘Hypocrisy’? These words would have never of
evolved if there wasn’t any hate in this world!
It seems unreal to Maycomb that there are still people who consider
themselves powerful enough to judge human beings by the color of their
skin, or their background. These people ignore the fact that the most
important values are what is inside, under their skin, and have nothing to
do with their color or physical features, and this saddens me.
Prejudice of every sort runs rampant throughout this town, and even
though things are simply “not fair”, that’s just the way today is.
Recently, was the trial of Tom Robinson vs. The Ewells. We could treat Tom
as a Mockingbird of the town. He poses as no threat to the community
whatsoever. He does what he is supposed to do everyday. Does what every
other black person does. Works as a slave, or as an outcast to the
community. Atticus Finch, Tom’s lawyer, says, “…It is a sin to kill a
Mockingbird.” And what have we done, killed the Mockingbird.
Robinson, who was a hired hand, is accused of raping Bob’s daughter,
Mayella. This case falls into Atticus’s lap, not because he believes that
Robinson is innocent, but it is his job to prove the latter so.
Even though it was obvious to every single person in the courtroom,
especially the jury, that Robinson could have not committed the rape of
Mayella Ewell, he is still – unfairly – prejudiced against, simply because
to take the word of a black man over two whites would threaten the system
under which we live – the system of segregation.
Of lately, an attack, made by Bob Ewell, was carried out on Atticus’s
children, Jeremy and Jean Louise, while they were strolling home from the
Halloween ball, held recently at the town hall.
“Just as we were walking past the Radley’s house, some guy came out of
the bushes and tried to stab us.” said Jeremy.
“Yeah, and then Boo came out and saved us.” said Jean Louise.
The day after the attack, Bob Ewell admitted to the community that he
was irritated by the fact that Atticus tried to prove him guilty. Bob said,
“I resented Atticus and wanted to seek revenge on him. So…I decided to
attack the things that he held most dear, his children.”
Atticus is a single parent, who faces the world raising two children.
He has a reputation for being an open-minded, fair man, overflowing with
integrity, and his children are what matters most to him.
Now there is something very peculiar about that incident. Why would
Arthur ‘Boo’ Radley protect children, when he is a ‘savage’ and an
‘outcast’ to our society? Obviously our community has got it all wrong.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from
his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
The fear of the unknown plays a major role in this conflict. Arthur is
sadly viewed as the town freak, even though none of us have actually seen
him, heard of him or even know what he does day after day. And what keeps
this fear moving from generation to generation is stories that parents tell
their children, and warn them against going near him, or even worse:
becoming him. These false, prejudged stories, and the curiosity built up
inside every child leads Radley to be a ‘set-off’ from our society.
Jeremy Finch says he is “six and a half feet tall, judging from his
tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch…There was a
long…scar that ran across his face…his eyes popped and he drooled most
of the time”
“He always spoke nicely to me, no matter what folks said he did”. Says
Miss Maudie, who claims to have known him as a boy.
Now, who do we believe? None of these descriptions may be true, but it
is wrong to prejudge someone when you haven’t even seen who they are.
People may look ‘weird’ but it is what is in the inside that counts.
Mrs. Dubose is also another person that this small town has prejudged
ideas against. She may seem an annoying elderly lady, who always screems
insulting remarks as you walk by her house, but really, she is enduring the
terminal pains that overcome us at old age.