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Karina Castillo

Period 1, Griffin


Social Inequality

The novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is about a young girl named

Jean Louise, known as Scout, and her older brother Jem. They live in a small,

Southern county by the name of Maycomb. Scout and Jem begin to get

teased because their father is defending a black man in court, and before the

trial starts Aunt Alexandra visits and much to Scouts dislike, tries to make

her into a lady . Lee demonstrates the idea that social inequality causes

people to go to certain lengths to fit in through Mayella Ewell, Dolphus

Raymond, and the Ewells.

Because Tom is black, he is treated unfairly. Scouts father, Atticus, is a

lawyer and he takes on the case of an African American man named Tom

Robinson who is accused of raping a poor white girl named Mayella Ewell.

The Ewells are the scum of Maycomb. Meanwhile, Tom is a hard worker and

a true man. He works hard every day for his wife and family, his boss even

says That boys worked for me for eight years an I aint had a speck

otrouble outa him. Not a Speck. Many of the people in this county can not

accept that Atticus is actually going to try and defend Tom, even though the

court appointed him to do so. Scout overhears this while waiting for Jem.

Lemme tell you somethin now, Billy, you know the court appointed him to
defend this nigger. And Billy replies Yeah, but Atticus aims to defend him.

Thats what I dont like about it. The people of Maycomb bring forth a racial

prejudice resulting in the conviction of an innocent man.

Maycomb pushes Dolphus to extremes because he doesnt want to be

judged. Whilst at Toms trial, Scout steps out for a moment because her

friend Dill starts to cry. Out there she runs into Dolphus Raymond. Dolphus

Raymond is a drunk, he started drinking around the time his wife died. He is

frowned upon because he hangs out with black people. That is unacceptable

in the eyes of the people of Maycomb. But Scout learns that he isnt really a

drunk, he just acts like it. When Scout asks why he acts drunk most of the

time, Dolphus replies, Some folks dont-like the way I live. I try to give em a

reasonThey can say Dolphus Raymonds in the clutches of whiskey-thats

why he wont change his ways. He cant help himself. Thats why he lives the

way he does. He has the choice of trying to get people to understand things

the way he does, but it seems as if he has lost all hope. He would rather act

drunk that deal with people. Dolphus Raymond went to extreme measures to

not get harassed by people who are racially prejudiced.

Bob Ewell fears for his reputation. The Ewells are the most frowned upon

white family in Maycomb. Their father, Bob Ewell is a drunk and the Welfare

money that he takes from Maycomb is spent on his liquor. The kids are dirty,

always sick and disrespectful. They live next to a dump and act rather

dumpy as well. Even though the Ewells are viewed as trash, they are still

viewed higher than blacks on a social rank. As seen in the trial between Tom
and the Ewells. Bob Ewell attempts to murder Scout and Jem because he

was embarrassed in front of the whole town of Maycomb. Once all the

evidence is put together it becomes clear that Bob Ewell beat Mayella.

Exclaiming, You goddamn whore Ill kill ya! Hes afraid of his reputation

being lowered even though it is already bad enough. Bob Ewell went to the

extreme of murder because the way he was socially viewed affected him


Through these events Lee demonstrates the idea that social inequality

causes people to go to certain lengths to fit in. The people of Maycomb

pressured the jury the convict Tom whilst all the evidence lead to him being

non-guilty, because they do not want their reputation ruined. Dolphus

Raymond pretends to be drunk so he does not have to deal with peoples

criticisms for him hanging out with darker skinned people. And finally the

Ewells attack on Tom in a sense trying to bring themselves up to a higher

social level.