Uploaded by snow_shoes31 on Feb 23, 2002
Under the constitution all men, and women, are created equal. Unfortunately what the constitution reads and what the general population practices in every day (southern) society differs greatly. Most people have a predilection for how they feel towards other people and how they must act, depending on your rank in the ever-present caste system. The predetermined preference is one that is instilled in humans from the day they are born and it is near impossible to shake a person of these beliefs. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird this very caste system is clearly depicted through the eyes of a young girl and raises the question of how willing, or not so willing, people are to accept change or differences in one another.
The stereotypes of Boo Radley being a dreadfully scary man whom is feared by all have drifted all the way down to even the young children of Maycomb. Scout’s description of the Radley’s home is as if she knew for a fact that the devil himself lived there. “The Radley place jutted into a sharp curve…The house was low…long ago darkened to the color of the slate gray yard around it…Rain-rotted shingles drooped…oak trees kept the sun away…the remains of a picket drunkenly guarded the front yard…”(Lee 8). Her opinion is most likely a colored one, the Radley house may be in slightly more disrepair than the other houses on the street, and it may even appear gloomy with the lack of flowers and such. No where in Scout’s description of the Radley home is there any mention of the house being even somewhat normal, she hardly even makes it sound like a house. Everything in the picture she gives the reader is on the sub, or lower lever. The house is low, the colors are dark, and she even throws in alliteration to make it sound more disgusting with the rain-rotted shingles. Then there is the metaphor comparing the sunshine of Boo’s life, Jem and Scout concerning the hole in the tree, to that being blocked out when Nathan filled it in with cement.
If these stereotypes were to stop at the level of visually dissecting another’s home then it wouldn’t be such a bad thing, but they don’t! The thought of a caste system is usually related to the old Hindu culture in India, oh how very wrong this is. As with many small towns...