The most glaring example of racism in the novel is when Tom Robinson is convicted of raping Mayella Ewell just because he dared to feel sorry for her. The result of this racial prejudice leads the people of Maycomb to be very hypocritical and have double standards. They say they have sympathy for other races in other countries but then they treat the ethnic minority in their town with great disrespect. The prejudice of the town is produced from fear, historical context and their social conditioning. They are afraid because of ignorance and not being able to understand new and different things.
The black box symbolizes the darkness of ignorance that plagues the villagers of the community. They are reluctant to replace it even though it’s older than the oldest participating member of the lottery. Just as the community is unwilling to give up the ignorance of the old ways for the enlightenment of the new ways like some of the other communities have chosen to do. It also symbolizes the distraught tradition in the town and how it has changed over time. It is the center of the tradition because no matter how old and worn it gets, the villagers refuse to change it due to the tradition that it holds.
Every town has problems and the town of Maycomb from the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee is no different. Maycomb citizens are put forth with social problems created from racism. As a result of racism, physical abuse was plentiful in the town of Maycomb. The citizens of Maycomb were caught up in a cycle of racial discrimination, proving that racism does not benefit anyone. The citizens of Maycomb deal with many social issues due to the conflict of racism.
The third character Dolfus Raymond is not accepted by the community because he is married to a black woman. These are three very different men whom by choice or circumstance are forever affected by the hatred associated with prejudice and stereotyping. Bob Ewell is a man who is consumed by hatred, he is very poor and thinks very little of the black people in the community. Bob believes “that all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings” (17). Prejudice in Maycomb is both racial and socio-economic.
Their families and neighbors don’t ask them for advice, don’t really listen when they speak, don’t call on them for efforts….if it doesn’t change old persons may decide that efforts are useless.” They get pushed away because there old we judge them and think they can’t do much for us because of their age. We make up stereo types like we don’t want them to break a hip. Old people are just miss judged people. No one understands what they go through a day. Even though there are more challenges then rewards, nothing can stop the process of aging.
Most small communities never want to modernize. As in updating to the most recent form of things they already have. By being a small town inside of a larger city, it shows that Grover’s Corner doesn’t want to modernize because they think it’s going to become more like the city. “They’re all getting citified, that’s the trouble with them. They haven’t got nothing fit to burgle and everybody knows it.” (Dr. Gibbs)The Citizens of this community are so afraid of change.
The Response of the Community to Silas in Silas Marner When Silas Marner arrived in Raveloe the villagers did not show a very hospitable welcome to him, they saw him as an outsider, 'an alien-looking man'. This was the normal reaction to new comers in Raveloe. It was a small village, 'where many of the old echoes lingered, undrowned by new voices'. The village based itself mainly around the church, which 'once showed the summits of its social life'. Silas however was not a religious man, 'he invited no comer to step across his door-sill and he never strolled into the village'.
His mother even says, “The boy thinks about nothing but his work. It makes me almost cross the way he never goes out in the evenings…” (95). Without additional interaction, Gregor is not important in the lives of people outside of work and family, making his effect on other negligible, like an insect’s. Furthermore, despite how vital work is in Gregor’s life, he holds a very inconsequential position in the office. As Gregor appeals with the chief clerk to give him the benefit of the doubt, he admits that “travelers are not popular” because they are “never seen in the office almost the whole year around” (101).
They’re ugly, but those are the facts of life.” (Pg. 220) However not all of the white people agree with this. Most of them think that Tom Robinson is guilty just because of the color of his skin. The second main theme in To Kill A Mockingbird is “hypocrisy”. Mrs. Merriweather talks about saving the poor Mrunas from Africa, but she thinks the black people in her community are a disgrace.
Jem and Scout had learned a lot over the years about racism, social inequality, and “the simple hell people give to each other” (269). Maycomb’s citizens are unaware of the actions they make and ignore the consequences. Certain people are judged just for their appearance such as a black man. They are judged just like the cover of a book, where Maycomb is unable to open the book and read it. Even the mockingbirds are judged unfairly due to the uncertainty of society to actually learn something about the person and understand.