Essay, Research Paper
Prejudices in Society and Law
Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird uses crowds to help develop its theme. The townspeople, represented how people go in favor of the more popular side. Most people will go on this side because the benefits will go to the people. They can also fear that having a different opinion will make a bad impression of themselves.
In, To Kill a Mockingbird, the townspeople’s narrow-mindedness didn’t allow them to think like ” free-thinkers”. They never went outside the boundaries of Maycomb County, which limited their knowledge to that which they already knew. The townspeople were all brought up under the same beliefs. Since the town is in the middle of nowhere, they receive no new ideas or information. All this is accountable for the narrow-mindedness of the town.. Harper Lee uses the townspeople to show how narrow-mindedness leads to uniform thinking. This way of thinking leads to the majority always going on the same side. Anyone with a different opinion cannot speak up because nobody else will support him. All of the other people believe him wrong because they grew up thinking that their ways are correct. Therefore, the majority in To Kill a Mockingbird always beat the minority because the majority’s facts are based on ideas that everyone has. Society should not think selfishly, but about how problems should be fixed. They should think of solutions in terms of themselves and especially how everyone else will be affected. In this piece, the crowd shows how different parts of society work. Society is a selfish narrow mind group of people at times. There are many ways, though that this can improve.
Impressions, along with misunderstanding and prejudgment, cause unjust discrimination against individuals. To Kill A Mockingbird depicts the themes of misunderstanding and prejudice which portray Arthur “Boo” Radley and Tom Robinson.
When Jem and Scout Finch receive their first, longed-for air rifles, their impulsive desire to shoot birds is taken for granted. Their father refuses to teach them to shoot, but warns them that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird–the only time his children heard him call something a sin, reflecting how strongly he, and Lee, feel about this. After this order that they avoid their natural impulse towards shooting the colorless, brown mockingbird, Atticus tells his children that they may shoot as many blue jays as they like. These orders were certainly in opposition to the influencable logic of a child’s mind. Blue jays are colorful birds, with black crests on top of their heads and vibrant patterns on their wings. By contrast, mockingbirds sport bleak, brown and black feathers, and are much more likely to attract marksmen looking for deserving targets. However, the simplistic, unlearned minds of children do not easily recognize any requirements beyond the superficial, such as the visual appeal of a bird. Similarly, the jurymen in the novel’s central episode convicted Tom Robinson based on some biased principles, with little but the false, shallow reason of skin color to guide them.
Bob Ewell thought that he could get away with the false allegations against Tom Robinson for one simple reason. Tom was black and he was white. He thought that nobody would dare think that he was innocent, and that when it came down to it, it was a white man’s word against a black man’s. That was also the same reason that the jury found Tom Robinson guilty, they felt that to take the word of a black man over two whites would threaten the system under which they lived, the system of segregation. After Tom was killed for attempting to escape from prison, Mr. Underwood wrote in an editorial that he “simply figured it was a sin to kill cripples, be they standing, sitting, or escaping”. He compared Tom’s death to the “senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children”. The comparison between killing a mockingbird and killing a cripple man, Tom, is clear here. Both of them are completely defenseless before their persecutors and, therefore, it is sinful for them to be killed in that way. Law is just as prejudice as man and in a way Atticus explains that. He tells that the constitution states that all men are created equal, but not in the sense that some would like to believe. All men are different, but the one place that they should be equal at is in court. Which, unfortunately, or at least back then, was untrue.
Lee intended the novel to be a story of injustice: injustice to a decent black man and his family, injustice to a lawyer and his family. By making the mockingbird image dominant in her work, she showed that prejudice is a part of our inherent nature, to fear the unknown, to dislike those who are unlike us. To strive to beat this will make us part of an enlightened society. Or does that take too much effort?