Discuss the Representation of Marginalized Groups in to Kill a Mockingbird and How You Are Positioned to Respond to These Groups.

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Truman Capote Pages: 2 (770 words) Published: July 2, 2008
Throughout the novel, we see that the characters are divided into certain distinct groups, which represent the major groups in general society. We also see the social divide between these groups, and while some groups are well represented in society, others are marginalised (i.e. they have barley or no social standing in society). The first example of these groups is the Ewells. The Ewells represent the poor white society in our community. At the start of the novel, our first impression of the Ewells is a negative one. We are described the unhygienic nature of the Ewells when a “cootie” erupts out of Burris Ewell’s hair. Our impression of the Ewells is worsened when we learn that the Ewell’s only arrive for one day of the school, and stay home for the rest of the year hence receiving no education. And when the teacher tries to discipline him, he calls her a “snot-nosed slut”. When Scout tells Atticus of her day in school, we are given more detailed information of their way of life. Atticus calls them “the disgrace of Maycomb for three generations”. We are also told that because of their animalistic nature, the law is bent on certain occasions. Such as going to school only for a day and hunting out of season. The only reason Mr. Ewell, the father, is allowed to hunt out of season is because if he was forbidden to do so, his children would starve. This characterization of the Ewell family serves to make us look at the Ewells in a disgusted and negative manner. In the book we are given a good description of the Ewell’s residence during Tom Robinson’s trial. Harper Lee makes use of strong language to describe the home. The description of the Ewell house is an insight into the lives of the Ewells. We see how cruel the father is and the kind of life he has forced his daughter Mayella to live. I feel the reason Lee uses vivid detail in the account of the Ewell house is because the best way to understand the Ewells is to understand their way of life. Lee states that...
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