Explore The Different Communities In Maycomb

2000 words - 8 pages

Explore the ways communities are shown in To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird is set in Maycomb County which is riddled with prejudice and institutional racism paired with historical mind-sets. Lee takes us on a journey uncovering the depth of a typical location in the American South, who has divided themselves into sub-communities which show the cracks beneath Maycombs glossy façade. At first Lee masks the superficiality of Maycomb’s community as we perceive it as a very ordinary little town; Lee conveys the thought that it is a very relaxed county ‘took their time about everything’.
Exploring deeper into the novel we discover how Lee has mislead us to believe that Maycomb was a ...view middle of the document...

The type of narrative technique that Lee uses can be humorous but also unconventional as many of the mature themes in the novel Scout could not grasp ‘The man did not hear me, it seemed’ which the reader knows not to be true as we know Mr Cunningham definitely heard her but was hesitant to respond as she did not realise what she was interrupting or what they were planning for that night, this demonstrates a further example of her naivety. Although her narrating was unconventional at times her observation revealed to us the true meaning of the event taking place. Originally Scout had been indoctrinated, almost brainwashed by other people views and prejudice towards people, she did not have to think about what she thought of a person as that view had already been shaped and implanted by others ‘The Cunninghams are country folks’. Primarily, Scout fitted very much into her “white community” where she treated others with a different level of respect as she had been isolated from them ‘he’s just a Cunningham’. Throughout the book we watch Scout and Jem grow up, until the point in which Scout comes to realise ‘There’s only one type of folks-folks’ this symbolises the real growth not just in maturity but in understanding to the extent that she believes that everyone is equal and no-one is any better than anyone else just because of the colour of their skin or how much money they make.
Lee explores the lowest minority white class communities in Maycomb, starting with The Ewell family, they are described as the ‘disgrace of Maycomb for three generations’ due to their lying nature and fathers drinking habits .The Ewells were looked at in disgust and mixed with no-one outside their insular community. As Maycomb tries to keep up appearances with this false over coat the Ewells ‘lived like animals’ which did not fit with Maycomb standards ‘the windows …covered with greasy strips of cheesecloth to keep out the varmints’.Although the white people perceive the Ewells as a disgrace, no matter where you are in the white class social structure, even the lowest, you are deemed superior above the highest class black man after all your colour dictates the outcome consequently the verdict, which was definitely the case in Toms trial. Even though many of the residents in Maycombs highest white community would not trust Bob Ewell with their life, they let him take someone else’s without a second thought knowing Tom was innocent.
Nevertheless, Lee has to develop the idea of the hardworking, generous people of Maycomb-the Cunninghams. The Cunninghams ‘never took anything they can’t pay back’ this shows the diversity between the two poorest white families in Maycomb. Another way Lee shows the different ways the communities are presented is when its revealed that the Cunninghams wouldn’t even take the welfare cheque, unlike the Ewells, however they are still perceived at the same level in Maycombs overarching hierarchy ‘Are we as poor as the Cunninghams’. Lee had to...

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