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Flaws of Society – To Kill a Mocking Bird

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Some novels and plays seem to advocate changes in social or political attitudes, or in traditions. Note briefly the particular attitudes or traditions that Harper Lee apparently wishes to modify. Then analyze the techniques she uses to influence the readers views. Do not merely summarize the plot. The novel, To Kill a Mocking Bird, was a revolutionary tale about growing up and the flaws in society. The author, Harper Lee, uses logos, pathos and ethos to express and influence the reader of her feelings toward racism, segregation, and stereotypes.

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These are all flaws that society as a whole has had for many years, and all of them are against the word of god, and the Christian way of life. Logos, when applied to literature, means logic. This literary technique is used by authors to play on the reader’s logic, and see where the author is actually coming from depending on the situation being described. Harper Lee shows logos through the character of Atticus.

As a father Atticus proves to be highly logical, and teaches his children about society and why things are the way they are.

As a lawyer, Atticus is always per swaying the jury using logic, and not emotional attachment. Pathos meaning emotions, is used frequently throughout the novel, and is shown through the children, Jem, Scout, and Dill. Jem, being oldest, and who has a sense of “maddening superiority” is shown going through the emotional trials that come with age and puberty. During the trial of Tom Robinson V. S Mayella Ewell, Mr. Raymond even made the comment that “only children weep”.

Scout and Dill are shown going through the realization that the world is full of horrible things that no one can truly protect them from. This is shown through their changing opinion about Boo Radley, in the beginning of the novel they described him as “an unknown entity” but as the novel goes on and the children learn the ways of society they learn that “hes real nice”. This causes mixed emotions and confusion from the two of them throughout the novel. Ethos refers to ethics, and how a person lives there life.

In To Kill a Mocking Bird ethos is one of the main themes. Everyone in the book struggles in some way to either bend to societies will, or to do what there ethics and morals are telling them. This is shown through the Ewells. Mayella Ewell must struggle with her attraction to a black man, though this is not wrong it is something that is against the “rigid and time honored code” in Maycomb County, but because “her desires were stronger then that code” she broke it and must deal with the “immorality” of the so called “crime” she committed.

Her father, Mr. Bob Ewell, must struggle with the fact that his own ethics and moralities are not those of the rest of the county, this makes him an outcast. Racism is an issue that is still around today. As humans, people tend to fear what they don’t understand or what is different from them, but truly racism stems directly from ignorance. Ignorance of someone else’s culture, way of life, and situation. This comes up in the novel through the case of Tom Robinson V.

S Mayella Ewell, and in many other situations as well. The case is shown as a typical white against black, white will win because they are white, and is portrayed as controversial because no one believes Ewell but no one is going to let a black man who “might have” committed rape against a white girl free. Segregation is nothing more than separating people by their differences, but it is extremely wrong and is accepted by society (even today) because of the immorality of the human race .

The novel portrays segregation as something that is accepted but not fully understood, all anyone knows is that it is the way it is because of the race and culture of others, but not why the other is so bad. Scout, is one who voices her concerns frequently about this very issue. She is constantly questioning why the blacks and whites and constantly separated, why people like the Cunninghams’ aren’t associated with people like the Finches, and why Boo Radley is segregated by the county for his differences though he is not black, or lower class.

This leads her on many adventures, and eventually to her own moral forthcoming. Stereotypes are a part of human society and have been and will continue to be because of complacency. People naturally judge and condemn others for their way of life and separate them into groups with all the others that are supposedly like them. The character of Alexandra Finch is one who stereotypes are important to. She holds herself and her family to I higher status than others, and won’t even think of associating with someone she considers beneath her.

At one point in the novel she goes as far as to tell Scout she can’t play with Walter Cunningham because the was of a lower class. To Kill a Mocking Bird, is an extraordinary tale about the coming of age and the flaws that society accepts as the norm. Harper Lee, the author, uses logos, pathos and ethos to express and influence the reader of her feelings toward racism, segregation, and stereotypes, all are common themes in the novel. These are all flaws that society as a whole has had for many years, and will continue to uphold. This is because of ignorance, immorality and complacency on the part of the human race.

Cite this Flaws of Society – To Kill a Mocking Bird

Flaws of Society – To Kill a Mocking Bird. (2016, Dec 20). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/flaws-of-society-to-kill-a-mocking-bird/

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