Essay on Fear in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Essay on Fear in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Length: 1576 words (4.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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,

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee Essay

- Would you be the same person you are today if you had lost innocence and realized harsh realities at the age of nine. In this book, a young child takes a big step forward to understanding the denotation of life and words of wisdom. Her perspective on adult events might as well shock you, despite to the depth and knowledge of her thoughts. The award winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is remarkable for those who want a heart-warming classic story that would go along with a cup of bittersweet, dark roasted coffee....   [tags: Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird]

Strong Essays
1140 words (3.3 pages)

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

- To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee is novel set in a three year period through the ‘great depression’. Atticus Finch (Jem and scouts father) is originally portrayed as a friendly and understanding person, though when he attends court defending a ‘black man’ as his job, suddenly he and his family begin to suffer racial hatred from their community. The story features on the themes of racism, community morals and the realisation of certain truths whilst growing up. It is a fascinating novel with a great storyline full of drama and unexposed realities....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee]

Strong Essays
1077 words (3.1 pages)

Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee Essay

- ... Radley was a very shy and religious man who kept to himself and stayed out of trouble, so people that didn 't know about him feared the man because people fear the unknown. The kids later get to know more about Mr. Radley and understand what it is like to be in his shoes and find out he is a good man. To be in someone else 's shoes the reader as do characters needs a backstory or details to help understand how the character would be reasoning and thinking, this helps people realize the underlying good intentions that could make a mentor....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Novel]

Strong Essays
2123 words (6.1 pages)

Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee Essays

- ... Those dynamics are best revealed in Scout (as twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise, visiting home from New York City) and Atticus.” (Brinkmeyer 217) In order to eliminate as many possible misreading’s, it is crucial to read both novels to understand not only the events that took place, but the two main characters Atticus and Jean Louise. Without the reading of both novels there is substantial amount of content that could be misread. For example, there is the notion that To Kill A Mockingbird is a coming of age story, however “The first-person doubling the child with an adult shadow, might suggest the genre of the Bildungsroman but Scout, moving from six to nine years of age, does not undergo...   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Novel]

Strong Essays
1290 words (3.7 pages)

Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee Essay

- ... How’s your entailment getting’ along?” (Lee, 129) and “Entailments are bad…” (Lee, 129) These quotes along with the rest of the exclamation by Scout show how oblivious Scout is to the situation. Scout’s childhood innocence has shielded her vision from seeing the true intentions behind the large group of people. Furthermore, Scout’s naivety not only shields her from the dangers of this racially-charged mob, but her innocence and lack of ability to understand the horrifying situation in front of her, allows her to break down the hyped mentality of the men around her....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Childhood]

Strong Essays
935 words (2.7 pages)

Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee Essay

- ... Throughout the movie, we see Scout struggling to understand why things are they way the are. Scout encounters several antagonists throughout the movie such as Cecil Jacobs, Bob Ewell, and her neighbor Mrs, Dubose. Cecil Jacobs is a classmate of Scouts; Cecil taunts Scout about her daddy defending a colored man to the point where Scout feels that she has to fight him. Another antagonist is the neighbor Mrs. Dubose. She likes to shout nasty comments at the kids as the walk pass her home; comments like “you ugly little girl” are heard throughout the movie....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Morality]

Strong Essays
1340 words (3.8 pages)

Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee Essay

- For the South, tradition is “understood as an embodiment of the ‘givens’ that must be constantly fought for in each generation, and adjusted to new conditions” (Genovese 4). In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, the fight is, not only for tradition, but also with it. Scout and Jem are confronted with “Maycomb’s ways” (Lee 37) and are forced to struggle with, try to understand, and conform to these ways. They, along with Atticus, strain to maintain their family place in the community while forging a new path to the future free of some of the entanglements of the tradition in which they have been born....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Conservatism]

Strong Essays
1027 words (2.9 pages)

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

- Would you rather read a boring novel that contains static characters or would you want to read one that takes you on a journey through a dynamic character's life. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Scout's personality greatly changes as she matures and learns more about life. This novel takes place in the 1930's in a typical southern society. Once Atticus chooses to defend Tom Robinson, a black man, Scout faces many challenges and she discovers numerous facts about life. Throughout the novel To Kill a Mockingbird Scout grows up and learns that one should not be prejudiced toward others, the true meaning of courage, and that it is wrong to harm the innocent and kind....   [tags: Harper Lee Kill Mockingbird]

Free Essays
1137 words (3.2 pages)

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

- Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is a highly regarded work of American fiction. The story of the novel teaches us many lessons that should last any reader for a lifetime. The messages that Harper Lee relays to the reader are exemplified throughout the book using various methods. One of the most important and significant methods was the use of symbols such as the mockingbird image. Another important method was showing the view through a growing child's (Scout Finch) mind, eyes, ears, and mouth....   [tags: Harper Lee Kill Mockingbird Essays]

Free Essays
1401 words (4 pages)

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

- Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird "To Kill a Mocking Bird" by Harper Lee was published in 1960 and was adapted into a play by Christopher Sergal and published in 1980. It tells the story of a court case when a black man gets accused of raping a white woman. The black man, Tom Robinson is defended by the a lawyer called Atticus Finch. Atticus is one of the few people in Maycome who have a bit of money an can read and write very well. The inevitable outcome of the case was that the Black man was sentenced to death....   [tags: Harper Lee Kill Mockingbird Essays]

Strong Essays
2334 words (6.7 pages)