Morality In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

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As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.” This quote is one of the many applicable to the American classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee introduces the reader to the Finch family consisting of Atticus, Jem, and Scout. The book is told from Scout’s point of view, which adds an interesting component considering she is six when the story starts. She is very intelligent for her age, however, she has a short temper that occasionally gets her into trouble. They live in Maycomb, Alabama; a tight-knit town that has hosted the same generations for centuries. Taking place in the 1930s, the town is severely affected by the Great…show more content…
Tom Robinson is in the chair defending himself to Mr. Gilmer, Mr. Ewell’s lawyer. He has just been asked why he helped Mayella Ewell even though she never paid him. “Yes, suh. I felt sorry for her, she seemed to try more than the rest of them” (224). The reaction of the opposing lawyer and courtroom is what made this quote substantial. They all react with confusion as to why he would ever feel sorry for someone considered “superior” to him. They felt Tom did not have the right to say this statement. Tom recognized the sadness she was experiencing and saw she needed help. He proved to Maycomb there was no racial restrictions in empathizing others, and that if he can put himself in her shoes, they can do the same for him. After the trial, it was time for Atticus’ last argument, which was the most compelling section of the book. He took a few minutes to express his very last thoughts, and in the meantime, he wanted to remind the jury of what America was made for. He recognized that everyone is different, but they all abide by the same laws and under the same statement that all men are created equal. “One more thing, gentlemen, before I quit. Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are created equal, a phrase that the Yankees and the distaff side of the Executive branch in Washington are fond of hurling at us...We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe—some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they’re born with it, some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cake than others—some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of men. But there is one way in this country which all men are created equal—there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man equal of an Einstein, and an ignorant man equal of any college president.
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