Believe it or not, individuals have trouble seeing black from white. Mankind has the ability to develop an immoral sense of integrity suited to their needs, yet morally accept their sense of integrity. The author of To Kill a Mockingbird illustrates this illusion portrayed by a Southern society. By using a 1930s Southern point-of-view, Harper Lee demonstrates that integrity not only has the power to unite humankind, but to divide humankind as well.
The setting of To Kill a Mockingbird, in a small Alabama community is constructed from the contradictions of Christianity and prejudice.
Through prejudice and bigotry, the Southern society builds a strong sense of integrity that masks their immoral prejudice. The Southern culture of Maycomb derives from the antebellum culture of Christianity and slavery. The morals of slavery greatly clashed with the morals of Christianity. While Southerners desperately needed slavery, they also needed to maintain their Christian sense of integrity that stated all of humankind must be treated according to the laws of God. To mask the immorality of prejudice, Southern society classified Negroes as not human, but of an inferior race. Incapable of confronting their immoral sense of prejudice, Southern culture permitted a sense of integrity based on this deception.
This occurs in all prejudiced senses of integrity and is a powerful dividing force of mankind. The community of Maycomb is built from this sense of integrity. Several events in To Kill a Mockingbird indicates that the community holds this immoral integrity.
In To Kill a Mockingbird, it is apparent that the prejudiced sense of integrity is very strong in the town of Maycomb. After Mr. Radley shoots at an unknown figure in his backyard, (being Jem) he says, got another barrel waiting for the next sound I hear in that patch, dog or nigger.
By denying Negros humanity, and neglecting the rights all humans should possess, Bradley draws a strong line between blacks and whites. The white society of Maycomb constructs a caste system, which has a degrading effect to the community. This prejudiced sense of integrity has a huge impact on society: it divides humankind.
To Kill a Mockingbird illustrates that a prejudiced society strongly oppresses individuals who are affiliated with Negros in a positive light. Throughout To Kill a Mockingbird, the community of Maycomb continuously antagonizes Atticus, because he has gave a Negro the same rights as whites. Mrs.
Dubose Not only a Finch waiting on tables but one in the courthouse lawing for niggersYour fathers no better than the niggers and trash he works for.(Pg. 101-102) By classifying Negroes as trash, and placing Atticus in the class with Negroes, Mrs. Dubose strongly divides mankind. The most significant event in To Kill a Mockingbird that demonstrates Maycombs dividing sense of integrity is when the jury convicts the Negro, Tom, guilty. Their decision is clearly prejudiced.
In result of neglecting Negros rights, and prejudging Negroes before having a fair trial, the jury separates blacks from whites. During the Holocaust, the Nazis acted out of the same dividing sense of integrity. They thought that all races were inferior to the Aryan race. Their integrity was biased and bigoted into what they thought was justice. The Fascist party was Christian, and morally accepted their sense of integrity by classifying Jews for example as the inferior race. The strong need in a prejudiced sense of integrity to segregate and classify Negros as an inferior class to protect the morality of their own integrity divides mankind.
In To Kill a Mockingbird, blacks were classified by whites as an inferior race, along with animals. Mr. Radley said, got another barrel waiting for the next sound I hear in that patch, dog or nigger. The jurys decision to convict Tom guilty, a decision that was completely biased to protect their own integrity, divided the people of Maycomb. A wall constructed by this prejudiced sense of integrity divides black from the whites, as well as anyone affiliated with blacks, from whites. Your fathers no better than the niggers and trash he works for.
In the days of early discrimination, in the early 1900s, America was divided into more like two nations; the white nation, and the black nation. .