Life and Religion in To Kill a Mockingbird

Life and Religion in To Kill a Mockingbird

Length: 729 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
In the book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ written by Harper Lee in 1960, life in the town of Maycomb is very traditional. Most people have the same racial prejudices and live by certain rules, also referred to as ‘codes’ by Atticus Finch (p. 224). Aunt Alexandra is a good example as she is not from Maycomb but lives 20 miles away. When she comes to live with Atticus and his children, Jem and Scout, the town accepts her immediately for with her “boarding-school manners” (p.142), her ladylike behaviour and her enthusiastic involvement into the Missionary Circle and the ‘Maycomb Amanuensis Club’, she represents the ideal of a Maycomb woman.
Although all people in Maycomb are quite different from each other, most of them, especially the more accepted, show respect, discipline and politeness. This can be seen in the Missionary Circle where ladies sit together to talk, drink tea and eat cakes (p. 253-259) and although they might not always agree on everything, they never directly say so. For example when Mrs Merriweather starts to criticise Atticus’ doing in Tom Robinson’s case, at a Missionary Circle in front of Scout - not naming anyone - Ms Maudie interrupts her and cuts off the subject without drawing anybody else’s attention to the quarrel.
There are not many people in Maycomb who are open-minded and willing to accept different people and/or things, which makes it difficult to change. So after loosing the trial, Ms Maudie admits that she did not think Atticus had any chance of winning but that he was “the only man who could keep a jury out that long” and that it was a step, if only a baby-step, towards equality (p. 238).
Furthermore this intolerance leads to Jem and Scout being confronted with offences against Atticus’ decisions by town people and fellow students. For one thing Mrs Dubose, an ‘evil’ neighbour of the Finch’s, criticises Atticus in a way that Jem is not willing to ignore and ends in him cutting down all her beloved camellias (p. 112-114). This in turn leads to Jem having to read to Mrs Dubose for more than a month (p. 117-122). For another thing the children at school badmouth Atticus probably with what they overheard their parents saying and this time it is Scout who looses her head a couple of times.
In a small town like Maycomb there is also a lot of gossiping and prejudices against ‘lower class’ people.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Life and Religion in To Kill a Mockingbird." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Jun 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=151479>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee Essay

- Out of all the books I have read, To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite. When someone told me that this book has been banned in many schools, I am perplexed because it does not seem like a “harmful” book. The author of this book, Harper Lee, elaborated on real-world conflicts, and proved an important point in the storyline: despite Atticus’s efforts and capable defense, Tom Robinson is found guilty. This forces Scout and Jem upon a sad yet true understanding, which is that the morals that Atticus has taught them may not be reconciled with the evils of human nature; there is a coexistence, no matter what....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Atticus Finch]

Research Papers
726 words (2.1 pages)

Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee Essay

- Miss Maudie Atkinson is a trusted friend of the Finches in the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. She is a widow who is utterly obsessed with her garden. She can easily be described as sharp-tongued, but she is also a thoughtful person. Although Miss Maudie spends time with Miss Stephanie, Aunt Alexandra and the missionary circle, Miss Maudie has a very different opinion of the black community, unlike her friends. Miss Maudie is a wise, benevolent and frank woman. Miss Maudie shares wise advice with various characters throughout the novel....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Truman Capote]

Research Papers
968 words (2.8 pages)

The Film Of Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee Essay

- Imagine a tall slim man dressed in a very respectable iron pressed suit, with a tie that’s perfect length and fits nicely with the colors of his blazer. To go along with his suit, he carries a very affluent briefcase with a matching belt and shoes. This is the typical perception from students of someone that works in the legal profession, including the consumption of time spent on only work along with having a very stern look. However, a look at how it’s shown in the film To Kill a Mockingbird, it shows that things like standing for justice, having integrity, and being family-oriented plays a huge role in the lives of lawyers....   [tags: Lawyer, Law, To Kill a Mockingbird, Legal aid]

Research Papers
780 words (2.2 pages)

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee Essays

- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee To be educated is to obtain or develop a certain knowledge or skill by a learning process. There are many distinct learning processes, some more explicit than others. In the first part of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, education, in one form or another, is very significant. Both inside and outside of the classroom, Scout continually gains experience through education from both her brother, Jem, or by her wise and tolerant father, Atticus Finch....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird Essays]

Research Papers
830 words (2.4 pages)

The Theme of Prejudice in To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

-   The theme of prejudice in To Kill A Mockingbird is much more than just a case of black and white. The entire novel is about prejudice in its' many forms, the most prominent case of prejudice is the hate between the blacks and whites. The whole town of Maycomb is based on stereotypes of it's inhabitants, that are passed down from generation to generation. Rumors run rampid and very little truth is usually in them.       "So Jem received most of his information from Miss Stephanie Crawford,      a neighbor scold, she said she knew the whole thing....   [tags: Kill Mockingbird essays]

Free Essays
1377 words (3.9 pages)

Essay about Cultures in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

- ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is a brilliantly written novel by Harper Lee. The novel is set in Alabama, USA, in the 1930’s and tells the story of a lawyer who defends a wrongly accused black man while trying to raise his two children, Scout and Jem, as they go through childhood and adolescence, life’s most active learning stages. The book is written through the eyes of Atticus’ naïve young daughter, Scout, and southern ways enhance the plot of the story to give it a realistic and historical perspective....   [tags: Harper Lee Kill Mockingbird Essays]

Free Essays
4930 words (14.1 pages)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - The Importance of Atticus Finch Essay

- The Importance of Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird    The core character of a novel is responsible for maintaining the stability of society within the novel, exhibiting qualities of a true hero, and constantly emphasizing the novel’s central themes.  In the classic, To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus Finch serves as the core of the novel by displaying a character of stability, humility, and high moral standards.        Atticus Finch is a character of stability in an unstable society.  He is a balanced figure who is able to cope with the unreasonable and highly emotional town in which he lives.  He can manage the prejudiced white masses and still deal justly with the underprivileged Neg...   [tags: Kill Mockingbird essays]

Free Essays
714 words (2 pages)

Critical Analysis of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

- Critical Analysis of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird I will present a critical analysis on the film 'To kill a Mockingbird' which is based on the award winning novel by Harper Lee. To kill a Mockingbird is a film where a courageous, warm hearted and distinguished lawyer takes a case on board to defend a black mans human rights. His compassionate defence against the civil liberties of an exceedingly marginalised black man, Tom Robinson and their human rights and individual liberties in general, cost's him friendships and the town's respect....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird Essays]

Research Papers
921 words (2.6 pages)

Prejudice in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee Essay

- Prejudice is the preconceived opinion of a person or thing. There are three main types of prejudice: racial prejudice, social prejudice and religious prejudice. These three are the types of prejudice most dominant in ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. The setting for the novel is a fictitious town called Maycomb. This town is situated in Alabama, south USA. The racial prejudice shown in the novel has a lot to do with the town being situated in the southern United States. This is because there was a lot of racism in the southern United States in the 1930’s....   [tags: To Kill a Mockinbird Essays]

Research Papers
3902 words (11.1 pages)

Essay Social Difference In To Kill A Mockingbird

- Social differences have changed incredibly in the last decades. The world has known an evolution that no one could have predicted. Aspects such as racism, social class and individual perception have differed drastically and now represent a modern open-minded world. The multiculturism boost our country and our world has known has brought a new wave of cultural, racial and social differences. The world has changed for the better and communities as well as individuals are now more open to differences in others....   [tags: Harper Lee Mockingbird Analysis]

Free Essays
1249 words (3.6 pages)

While the gossiping is mainly done by Ms Stephanie Crawford who swears to have been present at every excitement that happened in town, all people are somehow affected by the castes or ‘streaks’ as Aunt Alexandra calls it (p.143). Everybody is put into a group, for instance the Ewell’s are ‘dirty and mean’ (p. 28-31), the Cunningham’s are ‘poor but hard-working, honest’ farmers who never take anything they cannot give back (p. 22-23) and of course the Radley’s, more specifically Arthur ‘Boo’ Radley who is described as a ”malevolent phantom” (p. 9). Firstly he is said to come out at night to look through people’s windows, secondly he supposedly tried to kill his father once and thirdly he lives on raw cats and squirrels (p. 9-12, 14).
There seem to be less religious prejudices in Maycomb, it is very important for everyone to go to church with exception of the Radley’s who prefer to worship at home. During the Missionary Circle, for example, the ladies from different churches have tea together. The importance of going to church is shown when Atticus is away and there is no one to take Jem and Scout to church on Sunday (p. 129-130). Hence Calpurnia, their black cook, asks them to come with her to the ‘coloured church’ and they agree. Cal makes them dress up even more than usually, so they will leave a good impression.
Ms Maudie who is a Baptist and takes her belief quite seriously, enjoys life, especially gardening but there are some Baptists who believe anything that is pleasure is a sin, so they often scold at her. She calls these people ‘foot-washing Baptists’ (p. 49-50) and although she knows about the importance of religion and the Bible, she thinks that some people go too far when taking the Bible literally and that the results can be seen in Maycomb (p. 50, “…you can look down the street and see the results.”).
Return to 123HelpMe.com