Young Walter Cunningham is the son of Walter Cunningham and are one of the poorest family’s in Maycomb. Scout one day wants to invite Walter for dinner, but Aunt Alexandra seems not so sure , ” Jean Louise, there is no doubt in my mind that they’re good folks. But they’re not our kind of folks.” (Lee 224) Since the Cunningham’s are poor and the Finches are at a “higher class”, Aunt Alexandra wants nothing to do with others who lie beneath her. Or at least with people who have no background. Also, she does not want Scout to catch Walter’s “bad habits” since Scout is already a problem enough to Atticus. The Cunninghams being farmers were the reason why they were at the bottom, ” Farmers were caught in a depression of their own that had extended through much of the 1920’s.” (Taylor 7) The Cunninghams had the great depression hit them the hardest loosing their land and equipment for farming. Also, they did not accept anything from others in which they can not return. However, them being poor didn’t make them bad people instead they were good to others. Alexandra describes them as run-off-the-mill people, who are ordinary, which is not acceptable to her. In addition to the no background, it would also depend on the type of person you are on the outside, ” Classism says that upper class people are smarter and more articulate than working class and poor people.” (Warnock & Briggs 1) Since in Aunt Alexandra’s mind her family is at a high point , that makes her smarter and more fluent dominating the poor such as the Cunninghams. Portraying the low class to be insignificant and dumb in their community. Having a good background and education does indeed get you something good, but what really matters is your way of being and the hard work you put into life.
Lee,H. To Kill A Mockingbird. New York; Warner books, 1982.print
“The Great Depression” To Kill A Mockingbird nonfiction reading companion, March 2014:p.print
Warnock,D. & Briggs, L. ” Confronting Classism” http://soaw.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=532 n.d (web) April 26
Mayella is the daughter of Bob Ewell meaning they’re the Ewells, the trash of Maycomb. Mayella is a nineteen year old white girl who is an outcast in Maycomb , ” White people wouldn’t have anything to do with her because she lived among pigs; Negroes wouldn’t have anything to do with her because she was white.” (Lee 192)Whites knew her way of living and decided not be involved with her. At the time , folks did not want anything to do with lower class individuals because they were not at the same level. Blacks did not want anything to do with Mayella because they would be accused of something wrong for the reason that she is white. Mayella lives almost like the majority of people in the Great Depression where ” Many more lived at the edges of cities in makeshift shantytowns.” (Taylor 7)The Great Depression was a bit active at the time in which Mayella lives in the back of the town’s garbage and also does not have an education. Mayella lives with her abusive father and has to take care of the children, some even feel sorry for the condition that she is in. People wanted to be around others who look and live nicely also those with educational manners.Of course that is what society looks for,classism, “Classism is also held in place by a system of beliefs which ranks people according to economic status, job and level of education.” (Donna & Laura 1) Status is the key part of your life in how you are in society. In making friends and getting along with others. Your way of living relies on how you are looked and treated by your community.
Lee, H. To Kill A Mockingbird.New York; Warner books, 1982.print
“The Great Depression” To Kill A Mockingbird nonfiction reading companion March 2014:p.print
Warnock, D. & Briggs, L. ” Confronting Classism” http://soaw.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=532Question n.d.(web) April 26
People tend to want to be with people in which they feel most comfortable with and have more respect towards. Others have no reason and choose to be with different people like Mr. Raymond, “Why’s he sittin’ with the colored folks?” Always does. He likes ’em better’n he likes us.” (Lee 161) For Mr. Raymond being a white man, it was odd for some people to see him being with colored folks in addition to having a colored women and mixed children. Maybe having the thought that he chose to be with them since he finds them to be more caring and gentle than the whites. In which he also might think of the whites to being rude and disrespectful to colored folks when they are just the same. Like in the Jim Crow laws as said, ” Rice and his imitators, by their stereotypical depictions of blacks, helped to popularize the belief that blacks were lazy, stupid, inherently less human, and unworthy of integration.” (Unknown 9) Rice was a white person who portrayed blacks as being something negative in society. While Mr. Raymond thinking the opposite and maybe even wanting to be one of the colored folks. Some people were not on board with the situation of being with their same race all the time. If that was the case then individuals should be with who ever they want to be with no matter who they are. As said once by Martin Luther King Jr. “King believed that black and white people should resist laws that they thought unjust. ” (Unknown 1) If whites wanted to be with blacks for their character then go for it since there is nothing wrong about it, same thing with blacks. Mr. Raymond’s decision of preferring blacks over whites may be to show that he is different from the rest and has more interest in colored folks , or maybe because he simply likes them.
Lee, H. To Kill A Mockingbird. New York; Warner books, 1982.print
“Who was Jim Crow” To Kill A Mockingbird nonfiction reading companion, March 2014:p.print
Unknown ” I Have a Dream” http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/x201ci-have-dreamx201d n.d (web) April 9
It was not common for whites and blacks to be in the same area without disrespecting one another. In addition, it was rare for whites to be going to black people’s territory. Like in the situation of Scout and Jem when Lula said, ” You ain’t got no business bringin’ white chillun here — they got their church , we got our’n. It is our church , ain’t it , Miss Cal?” (Lee 119) Since Scout and Jem were white and Lula was black, it would be expected for them to go to their own church instead of Cal’s which was full of blacks. In addition to them being white, Lula might of thought that Scout and Jem were going to discriminate them for the reason that whites and blacks do not get along. Instead, Scout and Jem were both fascinated and delighted to go to Calpurnia’s church with no need of distinguishing anybody.However, since they were at the time of racial segregation majority were accustomed to be apart, ” There were separate hospitals for blacks and whites, separate prisons, separate public and private schools, separate churches, separate cemeteries, separate public restrooms, and separate public accommodations.”(Unknown 11) People found this to be a normal thing, some thought it was the best for everyone. Some individuals violated the rule of being separated and decided to be where they wanted to be. Take Homer A. Plessy for example in which he “challenged that city’s right to segregate public transportation by riding in a Whites Only rail car.” (Unknown 1) He did not follow the rule of separation and thought that everyone had equal rights and should not be looked at differently. People have no need to judge anyone by their race and their decision of where or what environment they desire to be in.
Lee, H. To Kill A Mockingbird. New York; Warner books, 1982.print
“What was Jim Crow” To Kill A Mockingbird nonfiction reading companion. March 2014:p.print
Unknown ” Brown v. Board at Fifty ” With an Even Hand” http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/brown/brown-segregation.html n.d (web) April 8