To Kill A Mockingbird Social Class Analysis

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To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, a novel that focuses on two children, Jem and Scout, who grow through several different experiences. They are taught lessons on acceptance, forgiveness, courage, and the famous "it's a sin to kill a mockingbird" (p.90). Although, Jem and Scout aren't the only ones being taught lessons. By reading To Kill a Mockingbird, you learn lessons on social class. There are four clear cut levels of social class given right from the book, but where do the other characters fit in Maycomb's hierarchy? What goes into determining social class in Maycomb? The two main factors that determine your social class are your skin color, and your occupation. That being said, in this novel, the blacks are the lowest you can go,…show more content…
They are respected because they always pay back what they owe, just not in monetary ways, they pay with things from their farm. We first meet the Cunninghams through Walter Cunningham Jr. He is a boy in Scout's class. He comes to school without shoes and a lunch. The teacher sees that Walter has no food for lunch and offers him a quarter to eat lunch but Walter doesn't accept it. Miss Caroline doesn't understand why he can't accept a quarter, but Scout explains it to her on page 20, she says, "The Cunninghams never took anything they can't pay back - no church baskets and no scrip stamps. They never took anything off of anybody, they get along with what they have. They don't have much, but they get along on it." In chapter 3 Jem invites Walter Cunningham Jr. over for dinner. During the meal Walter pours molasses all over his plate. "He probably would have poured it in his milk glass had I not asked what the sam hill he was doing," Scout says on page 24. Calpurnia pulls her from the table to have a conference in the kitchen. Cal explains to Scout, "There's some folks who don't eat like us...but you ain't called on to contradict 'em at the table when they don't. That boy's yo' comp'ny and if he wants to eat up the tablecloth you let him, you hear?" (24). This is helps Scout start to understand the difference classes of Maycomb. Walter Cunningham Sr. is a client of Atticus' and is paying him back in items from his farm. Atticus respects him because he is paying him back for his services in someway. Walter Cunningham Sr. is also respected by the mob outside of the jail because the rest of the mob listens to him when Walter says, "Let's get going, boys," (154), after Scout starts talking to Walter about his son, and his legal problems. By doing this she breaks the tension between the mob and Atticus. Walter Cunningham Sr. says, "I'll tell him you say hey, little lady," (154). Walter waves the rest of the mob off and they

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