Emily Crocker Mrs. McClure CP- ELA- 3rd 15, February 2012 To Kill a Mockingbird- Critical Analysis There are many themes displayed in To Kill a Mockingbird. The many themes range from poverty, justice, and morality to prejudice, courage, and compassion. The one theme that I really thought was shown the most was morality. One time the theme morality is shown is when Walter Cunningham is invited to the Finch’s house for dinner. Walter comes from a very poor family and the children don’t get much to eat, so they put a thick syrup called molasses on all their food to make it more filling.
Scout finds that action very strange and calls him out. Calpurnia is very ashamed of how Scout acts. She calls her in to the kitchen to teach her a lesson. “ There’s some folks who don’t eat like us”, she whispered fiercely,” but you ain’t got to contradict em’ at the table”(Lee 24-25). This quote shows that Calpurnia is teaching Scout that she should respect peoples differences, even if she does think she is better than him. It also shows that during this time in history whites had morals, while african americans did not.
The second part where morality is shown is when Atticus is asked to defend Tom Robinson and people continue to give Scout crap about how he is helping a negro. “If you shouldn’t be defending him, then why are you ? ,” she questioned,” Well for number of reasons-”but are we going to win? ,” Probably not- “then why,” she interrupted again. ”Because there is no reason not to try”(Lee 88). Atticus’ self respect is bound up in his own good morals. He feels like he needs to earn self respect, and that he needs to do right by Tom Robinson and his family. The last time morality is taught is when Scout is sitting outside with Miss.
Maudie and they are talking about Nathan Radley. She is reacting to how Nathan is a foot-washing baptist and doesn’t think his ethics are right. “There are just some kind of men who’re so busy worrying about about the next world that they have never learned to live in this one” (Lee 44). The Radley’s and the rest of the foot washing community always comments that she is going to hell because she spends to much time in her garden. She doesn’t see why pleasure is so bad and that everyone thinks she is a sinner when the Lord wants everyone to be happy on the earth.
This is only a few example of how morality and ethics are shown in this book. Morality and Ethics is only one of many themes displayed in To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee, the author, included this theme mostly in Scouts eyes and how she doesn’t quite understand some situations, but that she learns to accept the fact that all people are different. After reading this I started thinking about any times that I looked at someone weird and didn’t think that it might just be the way they live. It relates to the world by how different people have different ethics.