To Kill a Mockingbird – themes Essay
In my opinion theme with the most impact in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird” is Hypocrisy as shown in three main incidents . These are the teachings of Ms Gates about the atrocities of Adolf Hitler whilst she hated blacks ; the missionary circle trying to show how Christian they are while believing that to be a brother of Christ you must be white and finally the hypocrisy of the American court system in the 30’s by saying they stand for justice.
In Ms Gates’ classroom we read about her teaching her class that the Jews are being persecuted against by the Nazi’s. According to Ms. Gates this is un Christian and she finds these actions despicable. The hypocrisy of this teaching is shown as soon as she mentions the word ‘persecution’.This is due to the fact that she herself is persecuting the black people of Maycomb by not raising an eyebrow to the killing of an innocent black man. This lady shows her blindness to the racial problems of the Deep South ( where she lives ) but feels a lot of empathy for the Jews who are being mistreated and slaughtered in Germany ( many thousands of miles away ) .
The missionary circles in the 1930’s working in the south of America show the two faced nature of white citizens several times in each meeting . One strong example that springs to mind is Mrs Mariweathers positive comments about a Christian explorer in Africa helping the evil savages see the light of Jesus Christ whilst on the other hand she condemns Attacus for helping an innocent Negro . These so called Christian women safely say well done to a man helping African black people ( who were happy with their lives in the first place ) but if anyone should help out a black person anywhere near them it then becomes ‘Nigger loving’ and should be condemned by all within the community. It creates a double standard by showing that as long as racial problems do not involve them directly they can be tolerant.
The American Courts of the 1930’s were also hypocritical.Truth and Justice were held as the most basic right for Americans. Truth in the Tom Robinson case was never a factor. The white jury knew that Bob Ewell had beaten and raped his daughter Mayaella Ewell and that Tom was innocent .But because a human being had more colour pigment in their skin it was assumed they would be guilty without question ,so truth was never a factor .Justice also the pride of the American legal system in the past ,and now but once again in the Tom Robinson trial ,no matter how much evidence was presented in favour of Tom to prove his innocence, justice wasn’t done because Tom had more pigment in his skin than the jurors thereby he was assumed to be guilty.
In my opinion members of the Maycomb community are trying to fool themselves into believing that they are model citizens and good Christians, even though a small number amongst them know that they are wrong to persecute and hate due to colour . Hypocrisy and racism were as much a part of Maycomb society as church and community spirit.