Social Inequality, one of the book’s major themes and the development on how Scout and Jem changed their view towards the people of Maycomb. From the Cunninghams to Tom Robinson, majority of the people did not tolerate their way of living or who they were, they were at the bottom of their community. There would be a social system where people would be categorized as being at the top, or at the bottom. Depending on who you were, how you lived, or what type of race you were. Farmers and the poor would rest at the bottom, the Cunninghams and the Ewells. However, blacks lie beneath them for the color of their skin and the discrimination that they receive. Throughout this book, Tom Robinson was accused of rape when he was innocent but was given guilty because he was black. Also, on how Aunt Alexandra did not accept the fact of Scout inviting Walter Cunningham for dinner because he and his family were considered to be trash and not at their level. Or the expectation of blacks being less than whites and people not accepting whites and blacks being together as one when in the end they are all human beings. This made Scout and Jem realize that people are not what they are expected to be, as in supporting and getting along with each other as that is what Atticus had taught them.There is always an existence of inequality in society, but it’s not good to go and discriminate someone until you step inside their shoes and walk around in them.
As we know Tom was said to be guilty, due to discrimination, and died by getting shot seventeen times. Mr. Tate thought it was unfair for this boy, ” There’s a black boy dead for no reason, and the man responsible for it’s dead.”(Lee 276) Mr. Tate , the towns sheriff, admitted that Tom was innocent and had died for no apparent reason due to the unfairness of the jury. Heck Tate knew it was Bob Ewell who had committed the crime of abusing Mayella and also his fault in which Tom was convicted and then killed. Bob Ewell was the one responsible for Tom’s death , but Tom was recognized for his innocence. Tom’s injustice was similar to the Scottsboro Case, ” The case included a frame up, and all-white jury, rushed trials, an attempted lynching, an angry mob, and is an example of an overall miscarriage of justice.”(Unknown 17) Both were tried with a jury full of whites in which they gave the boys guilty for the inequality they have between each other. Of course some whites think it’s not fair and can not do anything about it but to just sit and wait for something good to happen. This also happened to young George Stinney and Richard Dieter had said,” race and other unjust factors determine who is sentenced to death.”(Starr 1) It’s sad to see young black men get sentenced or being told that they are guilty for something they have not done.For the men on juries not having the courage to defend a colored man just because of his skin and making them die along with their innocence.What the jury had done to Tom was a unfair, but people knew and believed that he was innocent despite his skin color.
Lee, H. To Kill A Mockingbird. New York; Warner books, 1982.print
“The Scottsboro Case” To Kill A Mockingbird nonfiction reading companion.March 2014:p.print
Starr, Jermaine T. “Executed At 14: George Stinney’s Birthday Reminds Us That The Death Penalty Must End” http://newsone.com/2061550/george-junius-stinney-jr-birthday/ October 19,2012 (web) May 5
Tom Robinson was guilty for an injustice that was done to him, raping a white women.However, most people already knew,” Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed.”(Lee 241) When a black man and a white lady are together and she starts to scream, it was expected of him to have caused harm to her. Majority of the people already knew he was going to be guilty by the fact that he is black and any white person’s word is better than his. Tom had no chance in having his word believed by the jury over Bob and Mayella’s. Also, since the trial took place in Alabama he would face serious consequences, “sentenced to death, the common sentence in Alabama at the time for black men convicted of raping white women.”(Unknown 17) It was common in Maycomb for blacks to be given the verdict of guilty even after evidence was clearly told, no colored man was ever innocent.Tom was going to be dead any way , not even needing a trial to determine it. Mayella’s scream was all it needed. A woman’s word defeats a man’s word, ” It’s been like 20 years and I didn’t do the crime. They just threw it together, took her word over mine, Hill said. Now I’m free.”(Simerman 1) Back then when people in juries had a case of rape they tend to always believe the woman than the man since they seem so vulnerable. Men were expected to be respectful and a gentlemen towards a woman but not too good with them especially talking about black men.Blacks would already be sentenced with innocence by just looking at the color of their skin.
Lee, H. To Kill A Mockingbird. New York;Warner books, 1982.print
“The Scottsboro Case” To Kill A Mockingbird nonfiction reading companion March 2014:p.print
Simerman, J.”Innocent man accused of rape freed by DNA after 20 years” http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/04/innocent_man_accused_of_rape_f.html April 27,2012,(web) May 4