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Social Classes in To Kill a Mockingbird

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The foundation upon which a persons character is built is first and foremost their family line and upbringing. In the 1930's during the depression the size and quality of a family tree was the main determining factor for one's placement on the social ladder. Family is destiny in Maycomb County. While on the one hand this may be limiting, because there's no way for a person to be different from their parents, on the other, it allows people to indulge themselves without being judged because general opinion is that they can't help themselves. Scout narrates ...no Crawford Minds His Own Business, Every Third Merriweather Is Morbid, The Truth Is Not in the Delafields, All the Bufords Walk Like That, were simply guides to daily living: never take a check from a Delafield without a discreet call to the bank; Miss Maudie Atkinson's shoulder stoops because she was a Buford; if Mrs. Grace Merriweather sips gin out of Lydia E. Pinkham bottles it's nothing unusual - her mother did the same. (Lee 31). Generation after generation the families of Maycomb had gained reputations for themselves that future offspring would not be able to shake. ...read more.


Due to this she has been able to gain their impressive level of eduation. When she brings Scout and Jem to her First Purchase Church an all black church the kids begin to notice and difference in her attitude. Scout and em do not understand why Calpurnia is speaking to the other church goers in a less refined manner. Calpurnia the explains, "Suppose you and Scout talked colored-folks' talk at home it'd be out of place, wouldn't it? Now what if I talked white-folks' talk at church, and with my neighbors? They'd think I was puttin' on airs to beat Moses" ( Lee 126). Her explanation of her "double life" is that sometimes conformity to what everyone else is doing makes more sense. Calpurnia is in a way better than some of the other parishioners classifying her on a higher scale than those who were not able to get the education she did. Now even though Calpurnia can act just like the "white folk" that doesn't mean she is classified like one because of her skin colour her social classification is lower. During the 1930's no matter how much evidence proved their innocence Negros were always seen as guilty. ...read more.


Aticuss Finch is a respectful man to all, but when it comes to adhering to the thought that all women need to be protected no matter what he does not find that right. He has grown up with a group of very strong women and it is for that reason that he would rather them be treated fairly than put ahead human rights and letting a man die. In saying "...in favor of South womanhood as much as anybody, but not for preserving polite fiction at the expense of human life," a pronouncement that made me suspect they had been fussing again " (15.39) he implies that Southern Womenhood is not real that it is a "polite fiction" assigned to making the women of the south feel special. He penalizes the social class system for giving woment the impression that because society pins them as helpless creatures they are exactly that and should always no matter the situation be protected. In keeping with tradition there will always be diverse forms of discriminations but at some point someone must win the fight and history must go on after having catalogued the classes of the past. ...read more.

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