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Human Nature in “To Kill a Mockingbird”

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In “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Harper Lee’s general view of human nature is negative. She points out the fact that all people have bad qualities.

One instance in “To Kill a Mockingbird” in which Harper Lee shows the bad in people is when Bob Ewell is at Tom Robinson’s trial. He knows that Tom Robinson did not harm his daughter, but he testifies against Tom anyway. Bob swears that he will get revenge on Atticus if it is the last thing he does. This points out the negative in people because all Atticus was doing by defending Tom was doing his job.

Harper Lee calls attention to the human’s negative qualities with her character Miss Stephanie. Miss Stephanie is the town gossip. If she hears a rumor, she will undoubtedly tell the rest of the town soon. Miss Stephanie said that Boo Radley wanders around at night, and one time he was standing there looking in her window.

Harper Lee creates the general attitude that human nature is generally negative when the jury finds Tom Robinson guilty. The jury is made up of all white men, while Tom is a black man. Throughout the trial, Tom repeatedly points out faults in the prosecution’s case. All of the evidence at the trial points to the fact that Tom Robinson is innocent. However, being white, the men in the jury know no other way other than to find a black man guilty. The verdict is read as guilty, even though everybody knew that Tom was innocent.

Throughout the book, there are many characters who are very positive, such as Scout, Atticus, and Tom Robinson. Being a white man, it is very hard for Atticus to defend a black man. He takes a lot of heat for defending Tom. Scout can not understand how the jury could find Tom guilty when all the evidence points to Bob Ewell. Harper Lee’s general comment on human nature in To Kill a Mockingbird is negative, but she also points out that there are many people who have a generally positive nature.

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