May 13 2015 The Family Values of
To Kill A Mockingbird The novel To Kill A Mockingbird written by Harper Lee, is a story about Scout Finch and her family. The story takes one on the journey that Scout and her family go through. Their journey helps her father atticus teach Scout and Jem about the morals of their family. Other than the Finch family, the Cunninghams and the Ewells are also families that impact Scout and
Jem and add to Atticus lessons to the children. All of these different families impact each other and the way that the book is portrayed. Needless to say the Ewells, Cunninghams and Finches are their own individual families. They all have different looks on life and with each family comes another aspect on the book. The Ewells, the Cunninghams and the Finches are distinctly different with different morals and values. Generally speaking the Ewells are distinctly different. Lee portrays the Ewells as a poor family with no real morals. Mr. Ewell the father of the Ewell children drinks and smokes away the money that he gets from the government and does not care for his children. The Ewell children are not raised like any other child in the book, they are always dirty, causing trouble and have no real respect for anyone else or themselves. The book gives a great example of the lifestyle that these children live, when Burris Ewell is introduced. The Ewells do not and cannot clean themselves. When scout sees Burris for the first time she realizes
Nowak2 that he is the dirtiest person that she has ever seen. Along with not keeping themselves clean the Ewells feel as they do not need to go to school. When Ms.Caroline the new teacher form out of town is faced with her first encounter with one of the Ewells, Burris, she can not believe his filth. “ ‘It’s alive!’... Miss Caroline pointed a shaking finger not at the floor nor a desk but to a hulking individual unknown to me. ‘I was walking by when it crawled out of his hair’ ”(24,25).
Clearly the Ewells do not care about being clean or how the appeal to anyone else. Another example of the different way of life the Ewells live is seen when Ewell spat in Atticus’s face. No other family or individual of Maycomb would ever behave this way. “Mr.Ewell approached him
,cursed him, spat on him, and threatened to kill him”(217). One way that best explains the families morals would be when Atticus asks Mayella if she loves her father. “ ‘Love him,
Whatcha mean?’ ‘I mean is he good to you, is he easy to get along with?’ ‘he does tollable, ‘cept when’ ”(183). Mayella does not know what it is really like to have someone to love her. Mayella too, does not realize that a father is someone who should love you and that she should love too.
The Ewells do not have any real family moral. They do not have a real father figure too teach them what is right and how they should properly act around others. Their father is to stubborn and consumed with his alcohol to be interested in his children. Clearly the Ewells are a different family as are the Cunninghams. No doubt that the Cunninghams are a caring and respectful farming family and thereby are distinctly different. Even though the Cunninghams have little to nothing, they always pay their debts. One example of this is when Scout and Jem find out that Atticus has done legal work for Mr.Cunningham and the children are worried that Atticus is not going to be paid. “ ‘
Mr.Finch, I don't know when I’ll ever be able to pay you’... ‘Not in money’ Atticus said, ‘but before the years out I’ll have been paid. You watch’ ‘We watched’ ”(20). This example shows how the Cunninghams are true to their word and keep their promises. Another example that shows that the Cunninghams are different is when Walter is invited to Lunch with the Finches.
Walter has a very different way of how he acts and lives compared to Scout .