Seeking the Truth for Social Justice in 'To Kill a Mockingbird': Critical Essay

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The laws exist to be black and white, to discover a problem and remove it. In the novel ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ a book set in the southern era in a town named Maycomb in Alabama Harper Lee illustrates that the law is a set of rules to be followed by the preceded town or area and tries to accommodate everyone, however, the law is normally favorable towards the white. For example, the law requires that Negros are to be defended, it doesn’t specify that they must be defended well. To Kill A Mockingbird laws are presented in a very intriguing way with the written laws of the town of Maycomb and they’re also a few unwritten laws that if ignored will irritate the townsfolk. These unwritten laws are seen almost as written laws with the way they’re presented. Our protagonists Scout, Jem, and Dill are subjected to the troubles of the poor and racist ways of the town in which they reside. These characters' stories are pushed around by the idea of law and the way in which it is presented excellently by Harper Lee causing millions of people, worldwide to read and re-read the book countless of times with the emotional conflicts caused by a crooked law.

Tom Robinson is an accused character in the narrative ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ and is unfairly accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a part of a wealthy and snooty family. The way I am presenting this topic is to explain how the broken law in the town of Maycomb is the reason that Tom Robinson is being falsely condemned to the courtroom for a trial that now a day would barely be legal. Back in the day the law claimed to be equal to anyone, no matter their color, religion, or beliefs as stated “to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box.” Due to this discrepancy, the law will always be in favor of the white man as opposed to the colored man. That is why Tom Robinson is falsely accused and then put on trial and why the law is such a big and important aspect of the story. The law is treated as if it is fair when clearly it is being presented as a form of unjust prejudice against the colored. If the law was more just, then Tom Robinson wouldn’t have been wrongly accused of rape and the Ewells wouldn’t have their racist ways being seen as a positive and just action.

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The Finches are known to be a friendly and understanding family, Atticus is a lawyer and should also be seen just as well in the eyes of the law, however, because Atticus Finch defends Tom Robinson and because he is a colored man, the whole town should hate him and his family, but now we have the conflict-ion of laws/morals. The unspoken law tells us that Atticus and his family are kind and helpful as much as possible, but now, since they defend a colored man, they are seen as something like a traitor and atrocity in the political community. We see that the families still want to respect them but have a hard time believing them. The children in the town of Maycomb are the future of the town, this meaning that they will carry on the responsibility to adapt laws to problems and follow said laws. The children seem to have matured a lot more in this town as seen many times in the novel. Mature problems are maturely taken care of by what should be immature characters but because of these laws that they have been taught, they understand how they should react to most situations. Socially these children base their ideals on the laws like when Scout gets bullied because her father defends Negros and yet still asks Atticus about it instead of retaliating.

The law in Maycomb provides a very diverse amount of problems socially, culturally, and personally to many of the families in its town. Socially it damages how everyone views colored people, a below-middle-class group of rude, dirty, and stupid people who cause nothing but trouble and don’t deserve to be up with white people. This brings a very interesting idea to the table and puts into perspective the idea of how this truly changes the whole idea of the story and the conflicting ideas of a modern-day respecting person such as ourselves in a town with many rules requiring less respect towards people’s outward appearances, like an outsider entering a small complicated town. We see the town through the eyes of a little, yet mature young girl, hearing her narration and visualizing her descriptive words on the events which occur through the novel. We are reading her thoughts and experiences on what being a Maycomb villager is like and how to deal with the problems presented like being bullied for her father's justice-provoked actions to care for a colored man even defending him in a prison cell. White culture pushed the Finches to remove the idea of defending a colored man as a good thing and something that’s worth defending, but the Finches stand strong sticking to a new culture they have made, a culture in which many are equal and have the rights to be defended and have it done well.

To conclude this essay about how the law affects the overall story and premise of the novel ’To Kill A Mockingbird’ I am to write about how well Harper Lee used the combination of many literary devices throughout the entire extraordinary story like Onomatopoeia with bolded words, metaphors, similes, verbal/dramatic irony. Harper Lee also represents how the law twists social, cultural, and personal problems creating a novel that masterfully explains a story of exploration, excitement, and prejudice against colored and white people creating a diverse array of ideas usable for a story of lies and law.

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Seeking the Truth for Social Justice in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’: Critical Essay. (2023, October 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
“Seeking the Truth for Social Justice in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’: Critical Essay.” Edubirdie, 09 Oct. 2023,
Seeking the Truth for Social Justice in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’: Critical Essay. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 May 2024].
Seeking the Truth for Social Justice in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’: Critical Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Oct 09 [cited 2024 May 26]. Available from:

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