To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

615 words | 3 page(s)

The central theme of a well-known novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee reflects on the concepts of fairness and justice. The novel confirms the existence of inequality in human society, based on racial stereotypes, cruelty of the local people, and common narrow-mindedness. Social hierarchy of sleepy town Maycomb appears to be too rigid and ignorant, and that leads to tragic outcomes. Fairness and justice are depicted through the stereotypes of the Maycomb’s townspeople towards the black community.

The novel demonstrates contrast attitude to moral behavior and justice applied to people in Maycomb. While the lawyer Atticus Finch lacked racial stereotypes and strived to protect the interests of the innocent, the citizens of Maycomb treated the black community severely. The key theme of the novel refers to Tom Robinson, who although was innocent, was accused of committing violence. Atticus proved that Tom did not rape a white woman, although the court decided to convict him anyway. There was a group of Maycomb’s citizens, who wanted to lynch Tom as well. Nobody believed this black man was innocent, in spite of lots of evidences, provided by Atticus.

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Due to his decision to defend Tom, Atticus and his children got into trouble, because nobody supported them. As his children said him, he must be wrong, because “well, most folks seem to think they’re right and you’re wrong” (Lee 139). Justice and fairness, therefore, were considered more like based on common view, than legal background and moral rules. The black community was not perceived as worthy for fair attitude, because the townspeople of Maycomb thought of the blacks as violent, aggressive, and immoral. Tom was shot making an attempt to escape from his cage after the trial. The blacks were those, who could be killed without remorse, because they were not the people worthy for justice in Maycomb.

The trial was not based on fairness and justice in Maycomb, because common views were the most important factors that influenced the jury’s decision. In the book, Lee compared the trial with “a Roman carnival” (Lee 213), because it imitated the true order of things rather than making fair decisions. On the one hand, the trial was public, because everyone could go to see it. Public character had to make the trial based on fairness as the power of law. The overall process, however, did not depend on justice at all, because public did not guarantee fairness of the jury. In contrast, making the trial public, Maycomb’s official authorities made it turn into a circus that lacked any serious, solid, and legal background. Despite being focused on whether Tom was innocent or not, the public wanted to have a fun day out. Such an attitude could not confirm that the trial was based on justice and fairness. Due to that, the overall process ended tragically for Tom and his family.

The novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee makes the emphasis on the most important social issues, including justice and fairness. The most vivid example of unfair and unjust attitude, presented in the novel, is the trial on Tom Robinson who was accused for committing severe crime. Tom referred to the black community of sleepy American town Maycomb, so that everybody in it was sure he was guilty. Atticus Finch was the only lawyer, who agreed to defend Tom, although he was sure it did not help the accused. Fairness and justice turn into common sense in Maycomb, because the views of local people were crucial for the jury’s decision. Tom was killed despite being innocent, and that was the quintessence of racial segregation, narrowmindedness, and immoral attitude to justice in the novel.

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