To Kill A Mockingbird Setting — Maycomb County

To Eliminate A Mockingbird Setting– Maycomb County

In the book, To Eliminate A Mockingbird, we are informed by the narrator that Maycomb County had absolutely nothing to fear but fear itself. We are informed this due to the fact that fear is an important element of the novel, it is the cause of many actions of the people of the town. This particular quote likewise reveals that the only thing that the people of Maycomb County had to fear was their own ludicrous worries, which was primarily the fear of the black community. Ultimately, Harper Lee is attempting to convey through this quote that the town’s prejudice is the only thing that individuals need to have been frightened about.

The people of Maycomb County suffered from numerous fears which was the sole cause of their ignorance, hatred and prejudice. The worry of the black neighborhood is a main theme of the novel. The majority of the town’s white community revealed some sort of bias toward black individuals. This is shown throughout the novel, such as when Mrs Dubose makes the remark to Jem:

“Your father’s no much better than the niggers and trash he works for! “

Harper Lee, Maycomb County

Members of the black community are described as ‘niggers’ and other derogatory names by the white neighborhood.

Maycomb County

The white neighborhood produces the impression that the black people are entirely different to white people, by describing black individuals with words such as ‘nigger’ or ‘darky’. This then results in the illusion that black people are sub-human, and they are to be dealt with as such. Even children in the unique describe blacks as ‘niggers’ emphasising that racial segregation was so common that even kids were establishing these prejudice views from an early age. Another example of bias towards black individuals remains in Tom Robinson’s trial when he is being cross analyzed.

In the dialogue that occurs in between the prosecutor and Tom Robinson, Tom is asked why he wished to help Mayella with her tasks, Tom explains:

“I felt right sorry for her”

Harper Lee, Maycomb County

To which the district attorney replies:

“You felt sorry for her, you pitied her? “

Harper Lee, Maycomb County

The district attorney stressed this in order to convey the disgracefulness of a black person feeling sorry for a white individual. Harper Lee also states: ‘Below us, no one liked Tom Robinson’s response’, this shows that the courtroom likewise felt the same disgust as the prosecutor.

Black individuals were seen as listed below white individuals due to the fact that of the truth that a black person feeling sorry for white person was unspeakable. Maybe the most apparent case of bias versus blacks in the novel is when Tom Robinson is found guilty in his trial, even when it is apparent to the jury, and everybody in the town, that he was innocent. Tom Robinson was found guilty since it was a black male’s word against a white male, even when the evidence clearly revealed he was innocent. The prejudice of the jury was the reason for the oppression.

This bias was formed from fear. The white neighborhood feared the black neighborhood because they themselves created the illusion that black people needed to be feared, just because they were various. Instead of trying to understand the a little various nature of a darker skinned individual, the white community deepened their fear of them by separating themselves from the blacks, creating even more of a gap between them. This gap between the 2 communities led to more mis-understanding, which hatched the lack of knowledge, intolerance and bias towards the black individuals.

Community Of Maycomb County

Aside from the black neighborhood, the people of Maycomb County also feared bad people, who they referred to as ‘trash’. This links to the concept that these fears were developed out of mis-understanding of minorities in society. Bias versus poor people is displayed in the unique such as when Scout wants to have fun with Walter Cunningham and is informed by her auntie:

“He-is-trash, that’s why you can’t play with him! “

Harper Lee, Maycomb County

she goes on to explain:

“I’ll not have you around him, getting his routines and finding out Lord-knows-what.

Harper Lee, Maycomb County

This reveals that Aunt Alexandra presumed that just because Walter Cunningham was poor, that he would be a bad influence of Scout. The fears of individuals of Maycomb County were all stemmed from fear of the unidentified. The white neighborhood of the town did not comprehend that black individuals were just as human as them. Because their skin color was different, they separated themselves from them, they never attempted to comprehend them, therefore making the true nature of the black community unknown to them. Because they were unidentified, the white community invented and spread ideas that black people were subhuman, so the black neighborhood became feared.

Much in the very same way that Jem, Dill and Scout created concepts about Boo Radley. Boo was unidentified and strange to the children, so they invented stories about him. Such as when Jem describes Boo Radley:

“Boo had to do with six-and-a-half feet tall, evaluating from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any felines he might capture, that’s why his hands were bloodstained– if you consumed an animal raw, you might never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that stumbled upon his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time. And while the kids understand that this representation of Boo is untrue, they require themselves into thinking it holds true, since it is a satisfiable answer to the concern of who Boo is. They would rather believe a lie, than face up to the fact that they know absolutely nothing about Boo Radley”

Harper Lee, Maycomb County

Much in the same way that the white neighborhood would rather think the lie that black people are subhuman, than face up to the truth that they are simply as human as everyone else. Atticus explains this in his speech when he discusses: “the wicked assumption that all negroes are immoral beings”, going on to state:

“which, gentlemen, we know is in itself a lie”

Harper Lee, Maycomb County

Worry is the root of the oppression that goes on in the story of To Kill A Mockingbird. Worry of the unknown and individuals who were different developed incorrect beliefs that some individuals in society were below others, assumptions that black people were ‘immoral beings’, assumptions that bad people were ‘white-trash’. The novel programs these fears and how harmful they can be. The only thing that individuals of Maycomb County had to fear was their own ridiculous, destructive fear. -Con