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Social Class Inequalities and Examples from To Kill A Mockingbird By: Kayla Tejada
Social Class is the division of society based on social and economical status, which includes income, occupation, race, etc. This division of society is due to inequalities. Not all individuals are given equal opportunities, resources and/or rewards for their efforts which leads to others having an upper hand known as social class inequality.
Jem to Scout: "there are four kinds of folks in the world. There's the ordinary kind like us and the neighbours, there's the kind like the Cunninghams out in woods, the kind like the Ewells down at the dump, and the coloured folks."
Today's capitalist economic system is all based on Karl Marx's theory. In a capitalist economy, all means of production are privately owned. The basic structure of today's economic system is the upper class (capitalist - own production and workers), middle class (professionals - keep production running) and the lower class (majority of population - sell their work for wage).
"Are we as poor as the Cunninghams?"
"Not exactly. The Cunninghams are country folks, farmers, and the crash hit them the hardest."
Ideologies reinforces the division of society into social classes. It is a way of thinking that generally supports the upper ruling class. In today's society, media plays a huge role in influencing the way people look at and think of other members of society.
"The only thing we got is a black man's word against the Ewells'.The evidence boils down to you-did—I-didn’t. The jury couldn’t possibly be expected to take Tom Robinson’s word against the Ewells’ [...]”
Social class is a major component in the town of Maycomb. At the top of Maycomb's social hierarchy are the educated, landing owning Caucasians (Atticus), followed by the working farmers (Cunninghams), then non-working Caucasians (Ewells) and at the bottom were African - Americans (Calpurnia and Tom Robinson).
Mr. Cunningham had been a client of Atticus'. Scout asked Atticus if the Cunninghams will ever pay him. Atticus says not in coins, but one day their debt will be payed. As time passes, Scout notices wood, nuts and turnip greens appear at their house left by Mr. Cunningham. Atticus explains to her that the Depression hit the Cunninghams the hardest. They were left with no money and this was the only way they could pay him back for his help.
Tom Robinson is on trial against the Ewells. Whether or not he is guilty, an all-white jury will sentence him guilty because of his race. Despite the fact the Ewells are looked down upon in Maycomb, as Caucasians they will be favoured over Tom Robinson who is African American. In Maycomb, African - Americans are inferior to Caucasians. Unfortunately, despite their education, wealth or land-owning status, it is impossible for African - Americans in Maycomb to move up the social ladder.
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