To achieve justice, individuals often have to challenge the existing views of society?
The issue of inequality and the role of the individual in achieving justice by challenging the existing views of society, is explored in both Harper Lee’s novel TKAM, and Martin Luther King’s speech ‘I have a dream’. In both texts, it is shown that only by the individual standing against existing views in society can justice prevail. The novel TKAM is set in the 1930s in the southern states of America, a time of great intolerance and racial inequality. The novel unfolds an account of injustice to the most benign yet unjustly discriminated citizen in the town of Maycomb.
The county of Maycomb, is segregated into two communities, white and black. Rarely is…show more content… Atticus’s belief in justice is illustrated as he knows “you’ve got everything to lose from this, Atticus. I mean everything”. However he willingly sacrifices the safety of his family and position in the community for his defence of justice. The act of killing an innocent bird- “mockingbirds don’t do one thing, but make music for us to enjoy”. This is a direct reference and symbolic of the character Boo Radley, and Tom whose innocence added to their vulnerability. The town is demeaned through the use of anomorphism: “…a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they are still human.” Comparing the behaviour of the town to the species which to an extent has not evolved from their innate animal behaviours.
Atticus whom is innately honest, is called upon ‘to act as the voice of reason’, however in order to practise justice he is required to challenge the existing views of Maycomb. “Atticus aimed to defend him. That’s what they didn’t like about it” - however the use of irony highlights the continual contradiction between Negros and white people, “.. all the little man on the witness stand had that made him any better than his nearest neighbour was that, if scrubbed with lye soap in very hot water his skin was white”. It was a Atticus’s fight again racial inequality that helped highlight the injustice in Maycomb