To Kill a Mockingbird: Man's Inhumanity to Man

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Northern Mockingbird, Harper Lee Pages: 4 (1657 words) Published: January 5, 2011
A central theme in To Kill a Mockingbird, is man`s inhumanity to man. Many types of inhumanity – whether intentional or not – can be seen throughout this novel. Scout and Jem Finch as well as Dill treat Boo Radley with a level of inhumanity; however, their intentions are not cruel, merely childish and playful – as they are. However some examples of inhumanity found in the novel are not as innocent. An evident struggle that continues throughout the book, is the inhumanity black people suffer at the hands of white people; as well as men`s towering empowerment over women, which is often shown in violence and other cruelty. It is evident in the novel, that racism of all kinds affects the everyday lives of many people. Though this may be a fictional story, the conflicts are as valid in the world of Scout and Jem Finch as they are in reality today. Many writers throughout the centuries have used their compositions to mirror the struggles that took place in their modern day. Shakespeare; possibly the greatest writer of the Elizabethan times portrayed racism against Jews in act III scene I in his play Merchant of Venice. Although the ethnic origins of the characters differ, the message remains the same; “...Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passion? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same disease, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer...if you prick us do we not bleed? if you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?” This quote reveals that all people are the same; we are all human. Though we may have different qualities, we are all equals.

Scout, Jem and Dill; the children whose adventures the story is based upon, take part in many acts of inhumanity. However, they are not aware that their actions could be classified as inhumane. Their young minds, ignorant of privacy and personal boundaries, hunt and re-enact life situations of...
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