Parent Influence their Children
If cruel adults harm innocent children, the children might do the same in their adulthood. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee takes place in Maycomb, Alabama, in the 1930’s during the Great Depression. Cruelty in Maycomb is a huge theme in To Kill a Mockingbird. Parents have a huge obligation to raise their children as respectable and moral people. Some parents like Atticus teach their children to be moral and ethical. However, Bob Ewell is a cruel and neglectful parent whose children also learn to be cruel.
Mayella Ewell’s younger brother Burris, who was in the first grade, shows disrespect, and cruelty toward his teacher. Burris yelled at Miss Caroline even though she was well intentioned. Burris was cruel because he was not raised with respect. “Safety out of range, he turned and shouted: “Report and be damned to ye! Ain’t no snot-nosed slut of a schoolteacher ever born c’n make me do nothin’! You ain’t makin’ me go nowhere, missus. You just remember that, you ain’t makin’ me go nowhere!” He waited until he was sure she was crying, then he shuffered out of the building” (37). Burris yelled at Miss Caroline and made sure she would feel bad. He even waited for her to cry before he left. Miss Caroline was the victim of Burris’s cruelty because she got yelled and cussed at. Burris was fed up with Miss Caroline’s rules so he yelled at her. Burris never learned what was cruel and what wasn’t because his parents did not teach him proper manners.
Mayella shows extreme cruelty against another human being when she lies about Tom Robinson. Mr. Ewell was cruel towards Mayella, which caused her to lie and be cruel towards an innocent man. Tom did nothing wrong but Mayella was taught to be cruel through her dad, so, in order to avoid being punished by her father, she blamed Tom even if she knew he was innocent. Tom Robinson was declared guilty by the jury, even though he was innocent. Despite all the evidence that Tom and Atticus presented, the jury was confident he was guilty. “I shut my eyes. Judge Taylor was pulling the jury: “Guilty… guilty… guilty… guilty…” I peeked at Jem: His hands were white from gripping the balcony rail, and his shoulders jerked as if each “guilty” was a separate stab between them” (282). After the verdict, Tom’s supporters were…