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Constraints of Convention - To Kill a Mocking Bird

6 Pages 1433 Words May 2019

Being subjected to constraints of any kind is an encumbrance many individuals endure at some point throughout their life. However, one’s ability to overcome a challenging situation truly defines them. Harper Lee explored the topic of an individual’s response to living constrained by conventions or circumstances specifically in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. By developing strongly established customs in the small town of Maycomb, Lee is effectively able to communicate the complex social system and constantly indicates that the root of the problems in Maycomb are connected to the unrealistic conventions that are present. Consequently, many characters in the novel must make difficult decisions – follow along with the traditional community, be able to develop their own stand and live against tradition or a little bit of both, just like Miss. Maudie. Ultimately, the importance of attempting to live unconstrained by conventional boundaries is conveyed and reinforced by Lee’s thoughts about an individuals need for freedom, balance of moral and ethical principles and for the sake of truth and honesty.
Everyone should be entitled to freedom, but evidently, people did not believe so in the past. In the 1930s, the economy crash and the Great Depression that followed posed severe difficulty for many individuals. Yet, during that time, society’s conventions were still present. One example of these customs was the racial segregation that separated individuals, giving white people more opportunities than black people. Not only was the current economic situation challenging, but also the segregation removed all possible freedom from the black community. In the novel, Tom Robinson and the other members of his community are simply trying to gain the freedom they deserve as human beings, and Atticus is trying to help them gain this right. When Atticus is making his conclusive speech for Mayella Ewell’s case, he begins to discuss the “evi...

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