The Social and Racial Imbalances in Maycomb

Topics: Social class, Sociology, To Kill a Mockingbird Pages: 2 (738 words) Published: January 13, 2013
The Social and Racial Imbalances in Maycomb

The Social and Racial Imbalances in Maycomb
As humans we feel the need to be positioned into one set place and one set hierarchy. In the 1930’s, the town of Maycomb was set into a social class system that was created by the social and racial imbalances of the era. The social, racial, and courage aspects are related largely in the text.

The differences in the social status are seen through the social hierarchy of Maycomb. The Finches are near the top of the social ladder with most of the people in the town just bellow them. Farmers like to Cunninghams fall below the townspeople and the Ewells who are white trash are at the bottom. Even though the blacks have such worthy qualities, they are still below the Ewells. This allows Bob Ewell to persecute Tom Robinson. “There's some folks who don't eat like us”. Scout “…That boy's yo' comp'ny and if he wants to eat up the table cloth you let him, you hear?” (Lee, 24) The Cunninghams are lower than the Finches in the social system and when Walter eats differently Scout wonders why. Calpurnia teaches Scout how to respect Walter in such a way that one should be treated. “Hush your mouth! Don't matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house's yo' comp'ny, and don't you let me catch you remarkin' on their ways like you was so high and mighty! Yo' folks might be better'n the Cunninghams but it don't count for nothin' the way you're disgracin' 'em – if you can't act fit to eat at the table you can just set here and eat in the kitchen!” (Lee, 24-25) Also many of the themes that come along with the social aspects, these lead us into the racial imbalances.

Racial prejudice was expressed strongly throughout the novel. When Atticus knew he was defending Tom Robinson, he knew that he was going to receiving a lot of gossip and also his kids would be getting a lot of negative comments. “Scout daddy defends niggers” (Lee, 74) Atticus never treated blacks rudely...

Cited: Lee, Harper. To kill a Mockingbird. New York: Warner Books, 1982
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