In ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Harper Lee explores prejudice and the unjust courts of the 1930’s America. The first thing introduced to us is how equality should be a part of our courtrooms. Justice has not always been a common aspect of our lives; however, it is arguably the most important feature in our courtrooms. As Atticus said, in his speech defending Tom Robinson, “There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie. Who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman with desire. When Atticus reaches this part in his peech, he allows people to realise that we all have sinned in some way. No matter how big or small our wrong act was, we still made the mistake. Atticus goes on to talk about how only some black men are troubling, and how we should stereotype against those different to us. Being the reader, you realise how much you take for granted and how little hope black people had for equality in the previous generations. Also, we see that no matter what race and skin colour, we are all equal. Some Negros are bad, but so are some people of the opposite race.
This doesn’t give anyone the right o categorise. This is also explained in Atticus’ speech, “Some Negros lie, some Negros are immoral, and some Negros are not to be trusted around woman. But this is a truth that applies to the entire human race and to no particular race of men. ” There are some cases where a corruption in the courtroom appears. This is highlighted in the book when Harper Lee involves the character Tom Robinson: a man who was falsely accused of the rape of Mayella Ewell, a white girl. The Ewell’s are a low class family in Maycomb.
However, being low class and a disgrace to Maycomb didn’t affect them being more respected than any black man. For this reason alone, the courts ignored the truth that Atticus has revealed and sent Tom Robinson to Jail. We, as a reader, feel compassion and almost pity towards Tom Robinson. We feel this as we know he means well but because of his skin colour, people are treating him terribly. This causes a corruption in the courtrooms. The unjust courts are corrupting the chance of equality and the Jury ignoring Bob Ewell’s careless comments prove that. The witness (Bob Ewell) said he never thought of it calling a doctor for Mayella’s injuries) he had never called a doctor in his life, and if he had it would have cost him five dollars. ” The comment about not caring for Mayella’s injuries was overlooked by the Jury as were other comments like these. All because of the reason that Robert is white and Tom is black. Compassion, sympathy, pity are all words that describe the readers emotions and feelings towards Arthur Radley. He saved Atticus’ children, carried Jem to safety and acted gentleman-like towards Scout.
These actions are there to make the reader feel like the character is their own friend. So when the time comes where Boo (Arthur) should go to Jail for killing a man, the reader feels disappointment as they don’t want him to. However, Justice states that the correct and moral thing to do is for Arthur to own up for his actions and take responsibility. This is where we hit a moral dilemma. This is where the reader feels that Justice does not count here, as they have bonded with the character throughout the story. The dilemma stressed when Mr Heck Tate covers for Arthur, ‘Boo’, Radley. l may not be much, Mr. Finch, but I’m still sheriff of Maycomb County and Bob Ewell fell on his knife. Good night, sir. ” Here, the Sherriff of Maycomb is covering for Boo Radley. Arthur has committed a crime but he did it to save the lives of young Jem and Scout. The decision of whether you think Boo should go to Jail or not is difficult for the reader to decide. The need for Justice is what is empathised for the whole story so when this problem occurs you do not know what to say. That is why you feel different emotions towards Boo’s character. Overall, I have learnt many things from Harper Lee’s book.
Many different things about prejudice, Justice and equality, racism, perceptions, etc… Forgiveness is the key to a happy life. You need to move on form things and forgive those who have done wrong, if they deserve it. I have also learnt that honesty and kindness need to balance out against each other. Compassion is shown to Boo Radley when he killed Bob Ewell to save the children. However, you cannot be blinded by cover ups and forget that he did commit a crime. Individuality is another thing I learnt form Scout. Over the chapters you can see how Scout had become more mature and grown up.
Even though she is still young, Scout had been separate from the crowd of dishonesty nd Judging. She has been herself and followed what her father taught her about equality, even if that made her views ‘different’ from the rest. Many decisions have been made in the book, some right and some wrong. However they have been made and I think that I learnt that the best way to move forward is to get other it, and find a way to improve you to avoid the mistakes. Although, all those things are helpful, and the most important and useful thing that I have learnt from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is that it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.