To Kill a Mockingbird: Critical Analysis
As people view the world around them, events seem to pass in a blur. Violence encompasses them, while fear drives their every move. Looking back on their youth, people realize that life was not always this complicated. When they were infants, the world was their nurturer; when they were toddlers, the world was their playground. They never imagined that their sanctuary would someday cause them unfathomable amounts of misery. As people progress through life, their view of the world and its inhabitants changes drastically. So when does the shield of innocence give way under the pressure of deception and corruption? More importantly, what causes this transformation? In To Kill a Mockingbird, the ever-present prejudice, abuse, and injustice eventually steal the characters’ innocence and alter their view of the world.
As Jem and Scout witnessed the presence of black housekeepers in most homes, they began to realize how the county of Maycomb demoralized African Americans. Blacks also seemed to be blamed for almost every fiasco that occurred. For instance, even though it was Jem, Scout, and Dill who entered the Radley’s fence boundaries, the entire county held an African American liable for this trespassing. Miss Stephanie Crawford boldly stated, “‘Mr. Radley shot at a Negro in his collard patch…says if anybody sees a white nigger around, that’s the one.’” (Lee 54). Her statement clearly sets blacks into a group of their own, excluding them from the rest of society. She knew nothing of the trespasser, yet she chose to single out a black. However, the children were very much used to black influence around the home. To Scout, Calpurnia was a maternal figure and a crutch on which to lean. She also taught the children manners and literacy. In their opinion, she was a human being, not a servant, and certainly not property. So, though their county demonstrated prejudice, the bewildered children drew a blank. They...
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