In the widely known novel To Kill A Mockingbird there are two families that are very diverse and are text book examples of complete opposites on the moral ladder of success. The Cunninghams and the Ewells have two very distinct and opposite reputations. The Cunninghams which are very respected while the Ewells very much despised. The Ewells are given the privilege to hunt out of season, so that the residents of the small town of Maycomb would not have to tolerate their continuous begging twenty-four hours a day for seven days a week. These two families show the respectability of hard workers or, in the Ewells case, can fill their peers with sorrow. The Cunninghams have pride, as for the Ewells, they have a natural like anarchist nature that will eventually haunt them and hurt others because of their lurid like attitude. The Cunningham’s are very respected by the citizen’s of Maycomb county. The Cunninghams took nothing, unless they could pay it back. Walter the youngest in the Cunningham clan was in the same class at school as Scout Finch the daughter of Atticus Finch. While in school, a fresh young new school teacher known as Miss Caroline did not know the reputations of the predecessors of these two children. In what looked like a good day for the rookie teacher quickly turned into complete disarray and a total adversity trip for the teacher. Walter Cunningham being raised in a very hard working environment was taught not to take what he could not pay back. The teacher obviously did not know about his background in the most minute way and embarrassed him extensively by almost demanding him to take some lunch money. Knowing that he could not pay Miss Caroline back in the way that she had in mind he knew that he could take the money which he wanted to take so bad. Walter eventually ended up eating with the Finch’s. While eating at the Finch’s he did not know what to do with all of the food that they have offered to him. For example he drowned his waffles in a lake of syrup. Bob Ewell’s son, Burris was also faced in the same way but in an total opposite direction and purpose. The same day as the Walter Cunningham incident there was another incident concerning the Ewells. Burris had “cooties.” A “cootie” came frantically flying out of the assumed Afro of Burris’s hair, and scared the overseer of the class, Miss Caroline. Miss Caroline quickly demanded that Burris go home and wash and scrub his hair with Kerosine. Burris coming from what seemed like a broken home and he had no pride so, he told the teacher off, made her cry, threatened her, and then left. The Cunninghams are given special privileges. Cunninghams paid Atticus for some legal work that Atticus did with their farm, they paid him with food, and other services. The population of Maycomb county excepted this because they know that the family is very loyal, truthful and extremely hard working. The Cunningham’s would never take anything that they couldn’t payback equally or greater of value. Then their are your slacking, lying, cootie infested, mooching Ewells. Bob Ewell is a total drunk, he takes what money he may have earned or stole and drinks it away. Mr. Ewell very rarely or if ever has bought or cooked his family a hot and total nutritious meal in his life. The kids would basically shrivel up in the little shack that they live in and starve, if they did not have the privilege to hunt and eat the food that they kill. The Cunninghams were a family of truthfulness, loyalty and able to carry on great responsibilities. They did not want to hurt anyone, they were grateful for the people that had helped them on their journey of life. When the Cunninghams were wrong they admitted it, when they were right they didn’t show it. They had great respect for anyone who walked on the face of the earth. But as usual the Ewells were just the opposite, they did not tell the truth on a consistent basis, and it wasted a human life. After the trial of Tom Robinson versus Mayella Ewell, the Ewells were ashamed because Mayella may have like a black negro, Bob Ewell caught them in the bedroom kissing and suspected the worse. He claimed that Tom raped his daughter and then beat her. All of the bruises were on the right side of Mayella’s body, Tom had no left arm. It was Obvious that Tom did not do it. But the Ewells which were ashamed to admit it, costing Tom Robinson his life. He was very upset and was disgusted how long it took for the jury to deliberate. He fought retribution against Atticus’s kids and hurt them coming back from a Halloween party. Bob Ewell could not stand that his word was barely good enough to overcome a black African American. The Cunninghams were very much respected by others because they kept their word, they would do anything to pay you back, they would help you, and never worry about what was in it for them. The Cunninghams renewed their resources by doing this, people were glad to help them. As for the Ewells used up their resources, they scrounged around taking, taking, and taking from others and used up their resources. People were disgusted when they helped the Ewells. Both Cunninghams and Ewells had special privileges Cunninghams were able to pay people back with other things than just the American currency, while the Ewells were given privileges because people were ashamed of them. Cunninghams also never had to worry about getting themselves into trouble they never lied and were very hard workers, the Ewells were liars, and were too ashamed to stop the slandering of Tom Robinson before it came uncontrollable, costing Tom his life. This story shows that Hard work is difficult and tough to maintain, but it will pay off, it maybe easier to beg and mooch like the Ewells but sooner or later the beggars and moochers have no where to turn, so they lie and cheat and quickly their life become corrupt, much like the Ewell’s.
To Kill A Mockingbird Classic, a term one uses to describe many things, such as a defining
moment or an object such as a book. When used in this context, such as describing a book, it
persuades the reader to examine the novel further to discover what makes this piece of literature so
memorable to people who have read it. One such novel is Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird.
One may describe this novel as a classic because the messages described in the novel can be
perceived on so many different levels that any reader, no matter the level, can observe these
messages. The prime messages observed in this novel is that of racism, how the actions of a
community, not just a parent, can affect a child, and how rumors and invalidated facts can destroy
anyone’s reputation. Racism is mentioned throughout the second part of the novel. It is the prime and
most mentioned part of this section of the novel. This message is displayed on many levels so even
the lowest level reader can visibly ask oneself why this is occurring. The easiest way to observe this
may be the town’s actions toward Tom Robinson, the negro on trial. The townspeople, for the
most part, dismissed the entire trial on the basis on that it does not matter what Atticus can do, Mr.
Robinson is automatically guilty. This message can also be seen in a severely symbolic manner, Tom
Robinson’s death. The manner in which he dies is that he escapes and attempts to climb the fence to
freedom, however he only has one good arm and that is his detriment. It slows him up enough to
allow the police to shoot him numerous times. Symbolically this can be viewed as a glimmer of hope
to end this suppression. As this glimmer of hope is about to reach the mainstream and acceptance
that racism is evil, it is shot down and dead, thus ending the opportunity. Mr. Robinson got into this
position by the jury giving in a guilty verdict, despite numerous evidence to the contrary. The jury
gave a racist verdict, showing Harper Lee’s opinion of the evil a racist society can do to a minority.
This verdict had repercussions not just to Mr. Robinson, but to the community. One can observe
that this verdict influenced the town in a manner no one expected, it twisted the minds of many
children. A popular saying is that the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, this is what
began to happen to the children of the town, best viewed when observing the Finch children. Despite
Atticus’ plans to raise children who do not have this type of hate within them, they have these
feelings due to some community actions, Atticus’ plan going astray. A prime example is Scout’s
answer to the question of the manner in which the prosecuting attorney addressed Mr. Robinson
during his cross examination. Her answer was that he could do that because …he’s just a negro.(p.
199) This issue is not just the white community pressing an idea into someone’s head. It can also
happen in the black community. When Atticus Finch asks Calpurnia, his housekeeper, to watch his
children for him while he is out, Calpurnia accepts and takes the children with her to church, a black
church. When she arrives with the children they are all greeted with hospitality except for a few
people. These people use the same argument as in the last example as to why they should not be
there, because they are white. What both races have done is shun the other race, now what happens
if a child is born with blood from both races. What happens is an isolated race that is exiled from
both races because that child has blood from the other race. This evil act can be seen in the novel.
The county practically exiles the children of Dolphus Raymond and his black spouse. It is done to
the point that these children are forced to live in the non-racist north where they would not be looked
down on as genetic freaks. After reading this, one would wonder of the community’s reaction to
Dolphus Raymond, whose committing a great sin by having children with a black woman. Well, the
town does not look down on him, the town actually feels sorry for him. Why, because the town does
not know the real story, they base their feelings on unsubstantiated rumors. Rumors, no matter how
false, can destroy an individual’s reputation. Two different people, other than Mr. Raymond, are the
subject of these rumors: Atticus and Boo Radley. Atticus is portrayed as a nigger lover,
something sinful in Maycomb. Something that prompts Scout to fight anyone so they will think
otherwise. Boo Radley is the subject of much worse rumors. This calm, sweet, possibly mentally
retarded person is the subject of many rumors that have destroyed his reputation. The townspeople
consider him an individual who should be locked up in a mental institution, a homicidal maniac. The
prime messages observed in this novel is that of racism, how the actions of a community, not just a
parent, can affect a child, and how rumors and invalidated facts can destroy anyone’s reputation.
These messages and others help to show why this novel is considered a classic. Not just for the
story and characters, but also for the messages observed. This novel is more of a political statement
than a story, displaying the evils of our society and the consequences of living in such a society.