TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD : the family and social values
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee might be the greatest novel of the 20th century. The story puts the finger on family and social values that has made it appealing to all generations of readers.
The narrator uses the small town of Maycomb and the Finch family as the basis of her story for describing family values. "Maycomb was an old town, but it was an old tired town when i first knew it" p.5
Nearly all the families in TKAM are atypical, even if the Finch seems to be the most normal in the novel. in fact Atticu's family is still unusual: it is a single-parent family and his children call him by his first name. Harper Lee uses the 1st person narrative to put the reader in the shoes of Scout, a tomboy daughter of Atticus Finch. Scout is an intellingent and neither She nor her brother Jem have any ...view middle of the document...
they too are a single-parent family. But in contrary to Atticus, Bob spend little time with his children. he's sometimes drunk and He turns over the parenting responsabilities to his oldest daughter Mayella who tries her best (but who's mothering skils are very limited). The children have no role model, so they would scavenge the dump instead of going to school.
Dill's family is also disfunctional so he prefers spending his summers in Maycomb with Scout and Jem, away from them. Dill's mother and his various ""fathers"" prefer their own company together without Dill and Dill is smart enough to recognize this. He secretly dreams of having a baby with Scout so they will bring it up properly according to him.
The Cunningham family is a large one. And really poor, so poor that Walter junior never knows when and from where his next meal will come. Like the Ewell, the Cunninghams are outcast and try to socialize with other members of their "enormous and confusing tribe".
As for the Radley family,it is both mysterious and unusual. the father would imprison his son, Boo, within the family's old house. and when his mother and father died, his brother Nathan returns home to serve as Boo's guardian.
There are relationships within families but also between these families. ex1 between Finch and Ewell there are conflicts between both families, due to the Tom Robinson trial. ex2 between Finch and Cunningham. the latest were embarassed by the fact they needed the Finch family's help.
In conclusion much of the story is based around families, but this is mostly stereotyping by people of Maycomb. In TKAM, family is like destiny. in fact within the confiness of a small town where the same people have lived for generations, no one can escape... even the parents would raised their kids to be like them for good or ill. this attitude creates a comfortable familiarity and a cozy predictability in the town. and it also makes progress, but both for the individual and the community, very difficult.