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"To Kill A Mokingbird" - Harper Lee points a word picture of a sweet affectionate portrait of growing up in the disappearing world of a small town

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Introduction

In the first half of the "To Kill A Mokingbird" Harper Lee points a word picture of a sweet affectionate portrait of growing up in the disappearing world of a small town, Alabama. In the second half of the book, Harper Lee, the author proceeds to expose a portrayal of small town manners. Lee reveals a rotten, rural underside with social lies, prejudice and ignorance. No one in Mokingbird is completely good or evil. Every character is human with flaws and weaknesses. The author reveals Atticus the upholder of mortality, as being weak, by making him an old and widowed man. No longer young and virile. Atticus is the father of Jem and Scout. He is a member of the Alabama state legislature and is Maycomb's leading attorney. Atticus is an upright, moral character. He teaches his children and his community how to stand up for one's beliefs in the face of prejudice and ignorance. As a widower Atticus develops himself to his children, although his family and neighbors think his children lack discipline and proper guidance. He stands as one of literature's most positive, father figures. He is the voice of reason in the town of Maycomb. ...read more.

Middle

In aunt Alexandra's eyes, the Ewells who are very poor, are fine folks because they have stayed on the same land by the town dump for three generations. Most people looked fairly similar in the Maycomb county because the town families tended to intermarry. Newcomers arrived rarely and made little difference to the social mix. The behaviour of most of the people was predictable and repetitive. Aunt Alexandra want the children to know all about the Finch family and in so doing painted a genteel heritage. She points out the caste system exists in Maycomb and that the Finch family sits atop that system. However her stories reveal a great amount of inbreeding among all Maycomb's families, including the Finches. Alexandra is not pleased with the way atticus is raising the children and feels she is needed. As I read, I was convinced that the enormous amount of racist thought in Maycomb prevents blacks being treated with respect, because according to Aunt Alexandra's way of thinking dishonesty and inferiority would be characteristics genetically endemic to the entire race. Aunt Alexandra tries to make Scout into a proper southern girl and meets with proper opposition. ...read more.

Conclusion

The next class although financially similar, has completely different morals, standards and quality of life. This class may include some who work, but most noticeably, it is made up of the town drunks, fools and all around irresponsible people. This class certainly includes the Ewell family. Finally the lowest rank in this hierarchy is the made up of the black citizens. Although they may be as educated and economically stable as those in the second or even first rank, because of their skin they are immediate outcasts and can obviously never move out of their strata. This specific structure had influence in certain events in this novel. Sacrifice : When someone sacrifices something for the benefit of others it is usually well praised. But in this novel not all sacrificial acts are given their recognition.Tom Robinson sacrifices his life for his family: After the guilty verdict in Tom's trial, he was sentenced to be in jail and later hanged. But, this would almost definitely lead to his family being further ostracized from the Maycomb community. His execution and trial would linger with them. So, to end this future suffering for his family, Tom purposely tried to be killed while he made his "escape." No one truly realizes his intentions; maybe because he was black or people figured he was trying to save his own life. ...read more.

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