• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

One Justice in To Kill A Mockingbird

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

One Justice in To Kill A Mockingbird Everyone has their own ideas of what is just and moral. Everyone's idea of unfairness is established as a child, denied candy or a late curfew. As our perceptions grow more sophisticated, one question cannot be avioded: What is justice? In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, many themes of justice are explored. Each child in the story comes to a different conclusion concerning the importance of justice. Their opinions are crafted in the waring sides of fairness and prejudice that divide the town of Maycomb, Alabama. The first differing philopsy in Maycomb is that of fairness and law over prejudice and money. This view of justice is held by many influential powers, including characters that are central to the development of Jem, Dill, and Scout. These characters include Atticus Finch, Miss Maudie, Heck Tate, Dolphus Raymond and even to an extent Mr Underwood, who "despises negroes" (Lee, 156) ...read more.

Middle

The three main protagonists in the story, Jem, Dill and Scout are all children. All three face these two conflicting models and each connects to a certain shade of gray within the side of "law and order". All three children eventually reach the conclusion that the people of Maycomb are not "the best folks in the world" (Lee, 215) as they had once believed. To the contrary, their friends and neighbors harbor deep imperfections which they discover "like somethin' asleep wrapped up in a warm place" (Lee, 215). To clearly illustrate each child's own discoveries and prospects on the idea of justice, each must be compared to another adult character in the novel. The greatest influence on young Jem Finch is Atticus, a man whose faith in the court system is paramount to his beliefs. Jem aspires to be a lawyer, but is not resigned to the idea that biased juries are acceptable. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Scout agrees with Heck Tate at the end of the novel and claims that forcing Arthur Radley to testify would be like "sort of like shootin' a mocking bird" (Lee, 276), she makes an important designation between herself and her father. Heck Tate takes into account the circumstances of the events and fundamentally lies to protect Arthur. Scout sees this as acceptable, while Atticus is uneasy with the idea, claiming "nobody's hushing this up. I don't live that way" (Lee, 273). Scout's ability as a child to take into account circumstance in her perception of justice makes her reasoning much more sophisticated then that of the court system. In conclusion, it's clear that all three children in To Kill A Mockingbird harbor their own individual perceptions of what "justice" really is, shaped by the many influential adults in their lives. Among many themes, To Kill A Mockingbird offers a microcosm of the ideals of justice in a multi-faceted society that influences all our perceptions, especially in childhood. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harper Lee essays

  1. How effectively does Harper Lee convey her ideas about prejudice in her novel To ...

    Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.' He could've decided to stay in his house due to feeling uncomfortable because he observes how people view him from a distance for instance, children used him as the main part of their games, acts and planned different tactics to get to his house.

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    They found out that Mr. Radley was shooting at a "white Negro" in his backyard, and has another barrel waiting if he returns. Dill makes up a story about playing strip poker to explain Jem's missing pants, and Jem says it was with matches rather than cards, which would be considered very bad.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Imagery and Symbolism

    That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." The fact that Jem and Scout's last name is Finch (a small bird) suggests that they are vulnerable and innocent within this racist world. Finally, symbolism is also presented during the novel because Boo Radley is symbolic of another good innocent person who is in great danger in the surroundings of Maycomb.

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird Lit Review

    These remarks and comments especially hurt Jem for he looked up to Atticus and set him as his model gentleman. Throughout the story, we realize that Jem is much more fragile and vulnerable than Scout. Jem was at an age where he felt the need of proving that he was a man and no longer a boy.

  1. To Kill A Mocking Bird : Harper Lee - A chapter analysis.

    With Dill's description of his relationship with his family, the author offers, for the first time, a picture of family life other than that of the Finch family. The juxtaposition is striking and the reader, along with Scout presumably, realize just how wonderful a father Atticus is and how fortunate Jem and Scout are to have him.

  2. To kill a mocking bird - Chapter 14 Summary onwards.

    At this point, Dill starts to cry, and Scout takes him outside the courthouse. He says he can't bear to watch Mr. Gilmer behaving so disrespectfully toward Tom. Scout says that all lawyers do that and Mr. Gilmer didn't even seem to be trying as usual today.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird Notes - Characters, Themes & Quotes

    when Scout refers to Atticus in court, saying "he'd gone frog-sticking without a light" She's trying to say Atticus is someone who tackles a task without the proper equipment. (Chapter 17) * TKAMB is a very carefully structured novel whose pace and tempo changes gradually throught the book.

  2. How are Prejudice and Hypocrisy explored in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird? Notes ...

    This symoblises the strength of the White Community and the weakness of the Black Community. * ?Maycomb was interested by the news of Tom?s death for perhaps two days? Prejudice in the white Community. They do not value the life of a black person, treats it as unimportant.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work