Essay on Fear in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Essay on Fear in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Fear in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Fear is an important force in the novel because it is the cause of
most people's action. The main theme in the book is a result of fear
such as the Tom Robinson case and Boo Radley. Ignorance breeds fear
which in turn breeds prejudice. Fear is infectious, and each character
in the book is affected by other people's fear. Hence, the people in
Southern town are always afraid.

Lee is able to explore fear in the novel most effectively by seeing
how individual characters are affected by it. In Particular, Mayella
Ewell is influenced and manipulated a lot which is shown by the fact
she accuses Tom. The underlying reason for the Tom Robinson case going
to trial is that Mayella Ewell is afraid of being

"hounded from [their] midst as being unfit to live with." Mayella is
forced to put an innocent man in prison because she wants to put the "
evidence of her crime away form her" and save herself from another
punishment. She has reason to be afraid, as Atticus implies she was "
savagely beaten" by Bob Ewell. Therefore not only does she fear being
driven out of society but also fears physical abuse.

Her fear is passed on to her by her father, Bob Ewell, who sees
himself to be a "respectable white man." He signs the warrant because
he fears that he might lose the respect of the community if they were
to find out that his daughter had " kissed a black man." He also fears
to lose his reputation and so he takes out his anger on his daughter
by abusing her. This anger is a result of his prejudice. He was angry
with his daughter for kissing a black man because he "hates and
despises coloured-folks." ...


... middle of paper ...


...trong force in the book by every character being individually
affected by it. Throughout the novel it is rarely, directly referred
to and yet is such a powerful force behind so many of the actions. Lee
explores the emotion in many forms and ultimately Scout shows that
although she has discovered that people can be evil in unfathomable
ways, she still upholds her faith in humankind and can face anything
with courage. Unlike Dill, she finds that the real world does follow
patterns, and once one knows them, the world of fantasy and books is
the only place where real fear can exist. From the beginning of the
novel, where scout has a fear of Boo, school and things she didn't
understand Scout has grown to understand that fear is unnecessary. In
this way all of Maycomb County fears something irrational, they fear,
fear.



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