Social Class in to Kill a Mockingbird
There are many different social classes in “To Kill A Mockingbird. ” The factors that separate people into these social classes are their skin color and their occupation. For example, Atticus, Scout, and Jem are part of the highest social class. They are part of this social class because Atticus is a lawyer, which makes him a highly respected person in the community. He is also white, which, at that time was a very important factor that chose who belonged in what social class. Scout and Jem are his children and therefore are also part of this social class. Another person in this same social class is Miss Maudie Atkinson.
She grew up with the Finch’s and is an old friend of theirs. She is now Atticus’s neighbor and is loved by his children. Aunt Alexandra is also part if this because she is known as the “perfect example of what a southern lady should act like. ” She is part of the Finch’s family and is highly respected by the community. One of the very important rules of belonging in this social class is to treat white people with lesser status kindly. It is an unwritten rule that white people with a higher social class than other white people must be hospitable and treat them with respect.
An example of this is when Walter Cunningham is invited by Jem to come over for dinner. When Scout notices Walter using a lot of gravy during dinner she is rude to him and as a result is punished by Calpurnia. The reason for this is because Walter is of a lower class and was invited to eat with Atticus and his family. As a result, it is rude not to let him do and eat what he wants to. An example of a person who is in the next social class is Mrs. DuBose. She is a nasty women and one of the factors that hints that she is not part of the higher social class is the way she talks to her community members.
She is supposed to be kind and respectful to the white people of Maycomb, like Jem. Even though she is nice to Atticus, she talks badly about him behind his back. That is not a quality that a person of a high status would have. Therefore, she isn’t part of that social class. The next social class is the poor, yet respectable white people. The Cunningham’s are in this class because even though they are poor, they manage to live their life by borrowing money and paying back the money borrowed with items from the farm instead of money. Under them are the
Ewell’s, who are poor and disgusting. They are completely rude and so are their children, but they are still in a higher social class than black people since they are white. The next social class is wealthy or middle-class black people. Calpurnia is a part of this class and only is for the reason that she is black. She has all the qualities of a good southern lady, and has perfect manners. She is respected and in good relations with the Finch family. Calpurnia would be in the same social class as Atticus Finch if she weren’t black. Another person who is in this class is Reverend Sykes.
He met Jem and Scout in church and showed how much he respected them and their father for defending the Tom Robinson case. He welcomed them and was very friendly, therefore in the same class as Calpurnia. The last social class is the poor and black people. Lula is in this social class. She is disgraceful to the black people and her motto is that the black people should stick to own community and the white should stay with there’s. She was harsh and shallow to someone who is of her kind (Calpurnia) and she was harsh to two innocent kids just because they are white. There is a very interesting relationship between the white people and black.
The majority of the black people is more mature and has much more class. They accept themselves and their status. They accept how they don’t get credit for all their work. They accept always having the worse of things, like the First Purchase church, which is a very beaten down church. They accept not getting an education with barely any complaints. No matter how much they tolerate, the white people cannot stand them at all and are so afraid of the truth because it means going against a white person’s word. The fact that white people don’t treat white people equally contributes greatly to the way the social classes are separated.