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Scout states, “he gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives” (Lee 373).She is expressing the fact that Boo has given them these gifts, including the gift of saving their lives, and that he is not evil after all.At this time, the majority of American society did not understand what mental illness was, or how to deal with it.
The night after the attack happens, when Atticus is putting Scout to bed and she is sleepily recounting the story he has told her, she comments on the main character turning out to be nice and simply misunderstood.
Atticus responds, “Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them” (Lee 376).
In this story, some of the characters could each arguably be the mockingbird, such as Tom or Boo Radley, and their positions in society showcase just how harsh the reality was for those who were not considered part of the accepted norm.
In Harper Lee’s classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the theme of justice is shown in three major parts of the storyline: the discrimination against Boo Radley, the treatment of Atticus’ family while he defends Tom, and the nature of Tom’s trial.
People in the town continue to judge Atticus because of his position, and they lose their respect for him because they do not believe that a black man should be considered innocent at all.
In addition, Scout and Jem become outcasts due to their relation to him, as they begin to notice that the townspeople are treating them differently.
Bob calls Atticus a “nigger-lovin’ bastard” (Lee 291) and hates him because he was defending a black man against him.
Despite the fact that Bob is actually the one who beat his own daughter, he refuses to let go of the fact that Atticus defended Tom; losing the trial would have meant that Bob lost to a black man, which would mean he is a disgrace from society.
Bob Ewell stopped Atticus on the post office corner, spat in his face, and told him he’d get him if it took the rest of his life” (Lee 290).
It is in this moment that Scout and Jem truly realize how hateful people are, and how there are real threats to their lives because of Atticus’ determination to prove Tom’s innocence.