People are separated as different group of classes which also as known as the social hierarchy. Social hierarchy is an important part of every community in this world but it also cause some prejudices toward lower-class people. The social hierarchies are still consisted in the town Maycomb in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. In Maycomb there has definite separation of each person’s social status as seen in the Finch family, the Cunninghams, and the Ewell family. The Finch family stands at the top of the Maycomb’ s social hierarchy.
In their family they have Atticus who makes money for this family, two kids, and Calpurnia who cook for the Finch family. They have a big house to let the big family live in and a car as the transportation; they hire a housekeeper as well, which shows that they are wealthy enough to make their life better than most people in this town. “Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passin”(Lee, 211) Most people had great respect to Atticus because they saw how deeply he pursued his cases and his work let people know the truth. I simply wanted to tell you that there are some men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father’s one of them. ”(Lee, 215) Atticus is a lawyer who hated the inequality things happened in courtroom and in the daily life as well, that was why he taught Scout not to look down at Little Cunninghams and fear Boo Radley. He never did his work because he had to but he wanted to do it.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view–until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it. (Lee, 30) He knew how to treat everyone equally and tried to understand people by seeing things in others’ view of point so he would not make mistakes because of prejudice. In the second level, Mr. Cunningham’s family is right below them. “Atticus said you just had to know ‘em. He said the Cunninghams hadn’t taken anything from or off of anybody since they migrated to the New World. ”(Lee, 226) Mr. Cunningham is a hard-working man but he can barely get low payment for his work and he could hardly afford something as a result.
He is a white famer whose social status is little higher than African Americas and the Ewells but his conditions of poverty make him inferior. “Don’t matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house’s yo‘ comp’ny, and don’t you let me catch you remarkin’ on their ways like you was so high and mighty! Yo‘ folks might be better’n the Cunninghams but it don’t count for nothin’ the way you’re disgracin‘ ’em—if you can’t act fit to eat at the table you can just set here and eat in the kitchen! (Lee, 25) Although the Cunninghams were really poor and could not afford many things such like the money they should pay Atticus but they still did not get others’ gift but got things they need by hands. “’I’ll tell him you said hey, little lady,’ he said. Then he straightened up and waved a big paw. ‘Let’s clear out,’ he called. ‘Let’s get going, boys. ‘”(Lee, 158) When Scout talked to him about his son out of the jailhouse, in a crowd of men who wanted to threaten Atticus he felt he should leave Atticus in front of the jail with Tom Robinson and behave honorably because he had the potentiality to be a better person than a ruffian.
Mr. Ewell is white person but he is in the lowest level amongst the white family in the Maycomb. “He stood up and pointed his finger at Tom Robinson. ‘—I seen that black nigger yonder ruttin’ on my Mayella! ‘”(Lee, 175) He is an irredeemably racist and who disregards the moral education and self-cultivation as he refused to use Tom Robinson’s name even in the courtroom. “You’re left handed Mr. Ewell. ”(Lee, 177) Other people who lived in Maycomb were simply prejudice but no one acted like Mr. Ewell whose life was full of heavy language to black people and lies. I don’t recollect if he hit me. I mean yes I do, he hit me. ”(Lee, 185) Mr. Ewell’ s daughter Mayella was a poor girl who had to accuse a person that she loved just because her father. Mr. Ewell had ruined her entire life for his blind prejudice, she could not go out of her house for years and could not even fall in love with other because of his race. The social hierarchies make people have a basic understand of the structure of the society but also become the reason of the appearance of the social inequality.
The Finches become the first level people in Maycomb because of Atticus’s formal job, their emphasis of moral education, and great ability to distinguish good and evil. Mr. Cunningham’s family is poor but his strong and kind quality makes the Cunninghams stand on the second place in Maycomb. Mr. Ewell is lazy, stubborn, silly, and radical when face the race problems. He loses people’s respect all because of his poor personality.