To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a book about a young girl named Scout who lived with her brother, Jem, and her father, Atticus, in a small town called Maycomb, Alabama. The story takes place during the Great Depression, so even though Scout and her family a not greatly affected, other people around her are. Additionally, Dill, a great friend of Scout and Jem, spends the summers with them next door. During their time together, them play many games and go on a few exciting, yet dangerous adventures regarding the mystery of Boo Radley. But, their whole lives change when their father is the lawyer for the case of a black man accused of raping a white woman. This event causes lots of tension in town and teaches Scout many important lessons about the unfair treatment of African-Americans during this time. The theme of the book is injustice. The reader figures out through the author’s use of atmosphere and character relationships that their will always be injustice in live, but one should always try their hardest to fix the unfair parts of life.
To start, the theme becomes clear through the author’s use of social and economical atmosphere throughout the book. Since the book is set during the Great Depression, most people are very poor and one of the poorest families is the Cunninghams because they are farmers. “Catching Walter Cunningham in the school yard gave me some pleasure, but when I rubbed his nose in the dirt Jem came by and told me to stop.
‘You’re bigger’n he is,’ he said”. This shows that Scout is being unfair and taking advantage of Walter Cunningham because he is not as big and strong as her. But, Jem did the right thing and taught Scout that what she was doing was wrong, which relates to the theme. In addition, the African-Americans were even poorer than the other people of town. So, they became low on the social status, but the people who are nasty and rude, which is the Ewell family, become the lowest. “Atticus said that the Ewells had been the disgrace of Maycomb for three generations… He said that the Ewells were members of an exclusive society made up of Ewells.
In certain circumstances the common folk judiciously allowed then certain privileges by the simple method of becoming blind to some of the Ewell’s activities”. This shows that the people of town bend the rules for the Ewell’s, so this will eventually lead to them taking it too far, and trying and succeeding to accuse an innocent black man, Tom Robinson, of raping his daughter; to get money. This shows the theme because letting one group have privileges over another will lead to that group taking advantage and this is unfair, but the people don’t do anything to stop it, so this becomes a problem.
Furthermore, the author uses political atmosphere to portray the theme. African-Americans are not treated the same as white people and this a because of the time period and the place the story takes place in. Since it takes place in Alabama during the Great Depression, there is racial inequality. For instance, during the trial, Tom Robinson is accused guilty, even though it seems that it is clear that he is innocent because of the color of his skin.
A friend of Atticus said during the trial, “Now don’t be so confident, Mr. Jem, I ain’t ever seen any jury decide in favor of a colored man over a white man…”. This proves that the people of the town are prejudice against African-Americans and this is unfair because they are no different from anyone else.
On the other hand, not everyone thought this way, including Atticus. Atticus believed that everyone should be treated the same, no matter the color of their skin. He says during the trial, “Some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women- black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men”. This shows that Atticus believes in racial justice and he is teaching Scout and Jem about how inequality is wrong. As a result, he is portraying the theme because he is doing his part by trying to eliminate injustice against African-Americans.
Additionally, the author used character relationships to portray the theme. For example, Scout and Jem have a strong relationship with Atticus. Furthermore, Atticus is a very important role model for Jem and Scout because he teaches them many important lessons in life.
Atticus says to Jem and Scout, “‘I’m going to tell you one time: stop tormenting that man. That goes for the other two of you… What Mr. Radley did was his own business. If he wanted to come out, he would'”. This shows that Atticus wants to teach them to be respectful and fair to all people, even though they may be curious or want to do something else. Also, Atticus teaches them that