1) What were the four major ‘classes’ in Maycomb society like and how did they relate to each other and why?
The four major classes in Maycomb were the Townsfolk, the Cunninghams, the Ewells and the Negroes. The townsfolk were a snobby bunch who spent their time spreading gossip. They were generally more educated and richer than the other classes. The Cunninghams were poor country folk who had to pay in food and produce rather than in money. They were uneducated farmers but did have some morals so were not completely trashy. The Ewells were the scum of the society and knew it. Although the Ewells were the ‘trash’ of society, they were automatically placed higher than the Negroes because they were white. The Negroes were the bottom class in Maycomb society. Negroes were loyal, equal among themselves and suspicious of all white people.
In relation to each other, the townsfolk were educated and had more money which gave them self confidence and because of this, they were judgemental and esteemed themselves higher than others. The Cunninghams were uneducated but tried to fit in with the higher class so were easily persuaded and led, making them unreliable and racist. The Ewells knew that they were the absolute scum ‘white trash’ but they wanted someone to look down on, so chose the only class that would fit this category simply because of their colour; the Negroes. The Negroes were embittered against the white people, making them judgemental and prejudiced.
2) What conclusions did Jem and Scout come to about their society?
Jem and Scout learnt that in their society, there were four status classes. Scout explained this in the following quote: ‘The thing about it is, our kinds of folks don’t like the Cunninghams, the Cunninghams don’t like the Ewells and the Ewells hate and despise the coloured folks.” People were judged by their outward appearance and classed accordingly which forms one of the major problems; people in... [continues]
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