Topics That Must Be Included In Paper * Commentary of the American Judicial System * How Social Class affects the Maycomb courtroom * 4 Social Classes in Maycomb County Alabama * TIME PERIOD---1930s Depression Era * Hierarchy of Social Distinctions in Maycomb County * SYMBOLISM---Protagonist role in pursuing justice Allegorical Elements in Title
Commentary of the American Judicial System The story told in To Kill a Mockingbird can be regarded as a commentary of the American judicial system. It can be argued that there are stark differences and similarities between justice of old and justice of the new millennium. However, in To Kill a Mockingbird’s year 1930 backdrop justice varies greatly from justice today. Back then, justice had a lot to do with a person’s sex, social class, and race. Their color and appearance in the courtroom was used to decide whether they were innocent or guilty. An example of this injustice in the story was the Tom Robinson case.
Tom Robinson was one of the few black men in Maycomb County Alabama. He was falsely accused of raping a white woman named Mayella Ewell. The jury’s that served in the 1930s were all white males and most of them were very racist. Atticus Finch is a lawyer who agrees to take the case, even though he knows it is probably a hopeless one. The main reason Atticus takes the case is to show the white community it’s morally wrong to keep convicting accused black men even though the evidence shows perceived guilt. He has experienced and understood evil without losing his faith in the human capacity for goodness. He understands that, rather than being simply creatures of good or creatures of evil, most people have both good and bad qualities.
The important thing is to appreciate the good qualities and understand the bad qualities by treating others with sympathy and trying to see life from their perspective. Atticus’, and by extension his family’s, belief in a higher power may have influenced his views on right and wrong. His children’s views are shaped by their experiences in the Maycomb community. The Finch children attend a “colored” church with their maid and it is on that visit the children gain insights into the black townspeople. Having gone to the “colored” church, the children found out for themselves that Tom (the accused) is actually a kind person, church-going and a good husband and father to his children.
How Social Class affects the Maycomb Courtroom
Blacks are made to sit in balcony of courtroom during the trial
Atticus presents powerful defense, makes clear Tom could not have possibly been guilty of crime, all-white jury convicts regardless
4 Social Classes in Maycomb County Alabama 1. The professional white class citizens-own property and have jobs that provide income or money that came from their families (inherited)…ex.Defense Attorney Atticus Finch… Prosecutor? Jury? 2. The poor honest white citizens 3. The poor dishonest, outcast white citizens 4. The black