To Kill a Mockingbird: Maycomb`s Modus Operandi
Everything is perfect, safe, and innocent in the Garden of Eden. Nothing changes, nothing progresses, but everything resonates in harmony. It was no different for the old tired town of Maycomb. Most of Maycomb’s residents were aged men and women who have lost their luster over their youthful years that were wasted as they grew surrounded by topics such as racism, routine, hierarchy, and class to total the idea of a clichéd small town life. Harper Lee chose Maycomb as the setting for her novel in order to orchestrate the insular minds of the white, prejudice, communities found in the Southern States and to portray how change excites those tired people while providing insightful narrations from the unbiased eyes of Jean Louise and Jeremy Finch.
Maycomb is a fictional town, to begin with; however the ideology whereby every character functions is the same as most small towns in Southern States of America – to further specify: Alabama, since that is the state that Harper Lee grew in. People functioned in a limited, narrow-minded way were everyone has a never changing role and class. The Cunninghams were the farmers, Atticus Finch was the lawyer, Dolphus Raymond was the doctor, and so on and so forth. Nobody challenged the shape which the town had absent-mindedly formed from its own experience, reason being: This shape allowed everybody to live merely without having to think for one’s self.
A wealthy white man who lives with his black mistress and mulatto children. Raymond pretends to be a drunk so that the citizens of Maycomb will have an explanation for his behavior. In reality, he is simply jaded by the hypocrisy of white society and prefers living among blacks. Although Dolphous Raymond is an inconsequential character, he is a prime example of the town's judgment. He has been ...
Aunt Alexandra is a typical Maycomb resident who follows that Modus Operandi. She boasts her pride in class and her nobility as a Finch. Alexandra thinks highly of her class and heritage when it comes to associating with other Maycombians. Scout proclaims that she will be inviting Walter Cunningham jr. – a lower class member of Maycomb – more often and becoming friendlier towards him. This was met with a grim response from Alexandra: “We’ll see about that” (Lee 223) and further justified “Jean Louise, there is no doubt in my mind that they’re good folks. But they’re not our kind of folks.” (Lee 224).
This only demonstrates the prideful manner of Alexandra, and how she flawlessly applies it. Yet the tale of classism and bigot does not end there, but extends to racism. Alexandra cares not for the outcome of Tom Robinson’s trial because she already knows that the prejudice minds of the Maycombians will convict the colored man. However, she shows interest in the matter because it is not of the ordinary to see a white man take a black man’s word against a white man’s word; but that defensive white man happens to Atticus, who is family to Alexandra. To her, Atticus’ defense of a black man is akin to disgrace for an old, establish, family like the Finches. And so, Alexandra “… won’t let him alone about Tom Robinson. She almost said Atticus was disgracin‘ the family.” (Lee 147).
And so, Maycomb has been chosen as the setting to serve the purpose of demonstrating how the many residents of this cliquish community operate in a much interconnected manner that affects the non-white communities within the town.
Maycomb is a town of no progress and no change from the very hierarchy it was built upon. This creates a circular routine with neither surprises nor flaws, a perfected way passed through generations, a way that requires no man to think but to follow the day’s events that will repeat for the rest of their lives. However, any change to that equilibrium will turn people’s heads over heels. The town is old and tired, and wishes for no change, but Scout and Jem are the younger folk who restlessly desire progress. That young uprising is the modern era that scrapped prejudice from its constitution and belief. The town’s very intolerable convictions and sensitivity towards change have turned the idea of a small town’s simple life into nothing more than a short sighted and narrow mined way of life in which a man cannot and will not take interest in “…see[ing] outside the boundaries of Maycomb County” (Lee 5).
Summery Paper In September 15, 2002 an article was printed in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The ar tical was about giving liquor licenses to three "dry" towns. Jake Wage man wrote the article titled "Giving liquor sales a shot in 3 towns, an effort to boost the economy is on the way or on the ballot." The article contained several o pinons, on the topic. The idea was, wether or not, to give these ...
Thus, seeing outside those bounds will expose the fragile town of Maycomb to a busy world were fixed routines do not exist, in other words, change.
Maycomb’s sensitivity towards change can be demonstrated in two instances in the novel. A very simple instance is when it snowed for the first time, after a long time of snowless year, in Maycomb. Another instance is a serious one, which involved the Maycombians to learn how to stop discriminating against the colored community, and learn how to appreciate the content of their character. As the Snow paints the grounds of Maycomb one early morning, complaints of the citizens only grow larger with every flake that set its way to the streets. The only way to explain this natural phenomenon was by referring to superstition since the most of the community of Maycomb did not know any better. The conclusion: “It’s bad children [Jem and Scout] like you [that] makes the seasons change” (Lee 65).
Overall, they detested the snow because it interrupted their daily routine. Maycomb’s daily routine also included oppressing the many people of the colored community. Originally, in America there were only white men that worked every job of the country from farming to presidency. Nevertheless, when colored people were introduced, many who labored jobs thought only highly of themselves as they progressed to working higher class jobs. This only concluded to segregation and discrimination. The time came when Bob Ewell put his word against Tom Robinson, and the outcome was predetermined because the people on Tom’s jury “…were twelve reasonable men in everyday life…” (Lee 220) who value their Modus Operandi. Even though the jury takes four hours come with the predetermined verdict of “guilty”, that time they took was for them to weight between allowed black people rights, or to continue to allow white people to hold power. On the whole, Maycomb only valued itself and continued to sustain its routine without error, and that is the way it has survived. The only ones that see the true ugly face of Maycomb were Scout and Jem, the town’s young.
A Study of the Different Kinds of Prejudice in, 'To Kill A Mockingbird' Prejudice is the preconceived opinion of a person or thing. There are three main types of prejudice: racial prejudice, social prejudice and religious prejudice. These three are the types of prejudice most dominant in 'To Kill A Mockingbird'. The setting for the novel is a fictitious town called Maycomb. This town is situated ...
Harper Lee chose Maycomb as the setting for her novel in order to orchestrate the insular minds of the white, prejudice, communities found in the Southern States and to portray how change excites those tired people while providing insightful narrations from the unbiased eyes of Jean Louise and Jeremy Finch. Maycomb values only its routine life because it requires no one to think for themselves but to follow a routine similar to everyone else in the town. This relaxes a man’s mind and lets him live simply without worry or doubt; the same way Adam and Eve lived before eating the Apple of Knowledge. Unfortunately, Jem and Scout played Adam and Eve, consumed the knowledge of Maycomb’s mentality, and learned the hideous truth about life as a small town.
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Warner Books, 1987. Print.