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

Social Classes in To Kill a Mockingbird

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level 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 AS and A Level Harper Lee essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    To Kill a Mocking Bird Essay. In the book, To kill a Mockingbird, Harper ...

    5 star(s)

    The event brings forth life into town as people are shocked that Atticus actually agrees to defend the black. Atticus is aware of the r****m that is present in Maycomb County, and he addresses it when he defends Tom Robinson.

  2. Who is Atticus Finch? What is his purpose in Maycomb? Carefully and thoroughly, Harper ...

    From these details, the reader can see that one of the most prominent and most admirable aspects of Atticus is his strong-willed nature when it comes to his values. However, Harper Lee develops his character even further to show that his strong will is not stubborn and his morals do not necessarily make him holy.

  1. To kill a Mockingbird. Scout: A character study

    However, although Atticus supports most of Scouts decisions, there is one aspect of her tomboy personality that he does not support. That is her violent behavior, Scout's tendency to resolve conflicts through fighting is shown very early on in the book where she fights Walter Cunningham.

  2. Why did Lee take the title from this quote: "I'd rather you shoot at ...

    However, when Mayella Ewell tries to kiss Tom Robinson and gets caught by her father, she is ashamed of the "code" that she had broken by "tempting a n***o", and turns around to accuse Tom Robinson of r****g her, so that she could "put the evidence of her offence away from her", as Atticus puts it.

  1. Analysis of To Kill A Mockingbird from the aspects of literary elements and devices ...

    The thing is, you can scrub Walter Cunningham till her shines, you can put him in shoes and a new suit, but he'll never be like Jem. Besides, there's a drinking streak in that family a mile wide. Finch women aren't interested in that sort of people.? (page 224)

  2. There are many parallels between the poor state of education in the Detroit Public ...

    Some blame social promotion on low test scores and high dropout rates. Urban illiteracy rates are estimated to be 47% in Detroit. 1. The school in To Kill a Mockingbird was not equipped to support students at different levels. 1.

  1. Study of Written Language to present conflict in To Kill a Mockingbird

    When Atticus tells his sister, ?Cal?s lights are pretty good,? and ?the children love her,? the reader knows that as far as Atticus is concerned, this discussion is over.

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird Themes

    The second a probably most significant factor portrayed in the novel is the class system. Without any dispute we can state that there has been a social underclass either regarding Negros or other members of society who are just plain appalling such as the Ewells or the Cunninghams.

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