The Caste System In To Kill A — страница 2

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Harper Lee?s starts to her honored novel. After attending Huntingdon Collage, she moved on to attend at the University of Alabama for four years. This included a year as an exchange student at Oxford University. After her stay in the University of Alabama, she left and headed ?to pursue a writing career in New York City.? (Altman, p.1) While living in New York, Lee supported herself by working as an airlines reservation clerk. After approaching a literary agent with the manuscripts of two of her essays and three of her short stories, she quit her job and in the late months of 1950 and with a loan from a friend, she was able to write full time for a year. One of her short stories would soon become her one and only novel To Kill a Mockingbird. After numerous edits, the story To

Kill a Mockingbird was finally published in July 1960. Harper Lee?s life may seem extremely different than the story To Kill a Mockingbird, but indeed it is quite the same. The story of To Kill a Mockingbird begins during the summer when, the narrator, Scout and his brother Jem meet a new playmate named Dill who has come from Mississippi to spend the summer with his Aunt Rachael. Dill is fascinated by the neighborhood gossip about “Boo” Radley. Over the next few years their interest keeps on growing about Boo Radley. In the meantime, they learn that their father has become the defense lawyer for Tom Robinson, who is charged with raping a white girl by the name of Mayella Ewell. As the trial of Tom Robinson grows nearer, the children become more aware of the strong feeling it

has aroused in everyone in Maycomb. One day their housekeeper, Calpurnia, takes Jem and Scout to visit her church, and the children realize for the first time that the black parishioners are supporting Tom Robinson’s wife. At the trial, Atticus?s questions make it clear that Mayella and her father are lying about the rape. Nevertheless, the jury convicts him because their prejudices prevent them from taking a black man’s word against two whites. Atticus is now a hero in the black community of Maycomb, but Bob Ewell, vows to ?get? Atticus for showing him up as a liar in front of the whole town. Tom Robinson has given up hope and tries to flee the prison, but while doing it he gets caught and killed. By the time Halloween comes around, the Finch family has begun to put Tom’s

death behind them. There is a pageant planned and after the pageant, Scout decides to walk home still dressed in her bulky ham costume. The cowardly Bob Ewell, seeing an opportunity to get revenge on Atticus through his children, follows the children down a dark street and tries to kill them. It is none other than Boo Radley, who had seen the attack from his window. Boo stabs Bob Ewell to death, and carries the wounded Jem home. The sheriff decides to file a report that Bob fell on his own knife and died, thus sparing Boo the publicity that would be sure to follow. Scout never sees Boo again after that night, but she has learned that he was a good man all along. She has learned a lesson about understanding and tolerance. And through the sheriff’s action she sees that sometimes

there can be justice and compassion in the world. As one may see, there is much happening in this story. In To Kill a Mockingbird, the people of Maycomb were represented in many ways, one if which was the representation of a caste system not only between races, but also within races. In To Kill a Mockingbird, there are many caste systems represented. There are the apparent and standard castes, but when one looks deeper, there is more the meets the eye. The upper class consists of ?the members of the Missionary Society, Atticus, Dr. Reynolds, Judge Taylor, and so on.? (Bloom, p.42) The Middle class consists of ?nameless individuals who flesh out Miss Lee?s story- Braxton Underwood, the owner-editor of The Maycomb Tribune, or Mr. Sam Levy.? (Bloom, p.42) Others such as The

Cunninghams are another group of middle class people. The lower class said by Aunt Alexandra as ?trash? is mainly made up of ?the Ewells, who, though more slovenly than the supposedly slovenliest of the blacks, still possess the redeeming grace of a white skin.? (Bloom, p.42) Other then the main castes, there is also a smaller no so perceptive caste system that is recognized by certain people, not groups of people. The Finches are at the top of the social order. They are treated the best out of all the other castes. The second highest family is the Cunninghams. They aren?t the richest or the smartest people in Maycomb, but they do repay for anything that they take. In Maycomb the lowest of the white people would be the Ewells. The children run wild, the father is an alcoholic and