The lust for power in a community leads to the marginalization of others. This is shown when Tom Robinson was found guilty by the court only because of his race. The court demonstrated that they were more powerful by sending Tom Robinson to jail. Also, there is a power imbalance when Tom Robinson was repeatedly shot seventeen times when he tried to escape from prison even though it was not necessary. Finally, Scout was marginalized and put into an inferior position when Dill and Jem would not let her play with them. The boys, Dill and Jem, wanted a sense of power over Scout because that was what they were exposed to in their daily lives. This all demonstrates that power in a society is achieved through discriminating others. Unfortunately, this novel is still relevant today as most people strive to have power over others but they do not realize that it may be their hamartia.
In order for the powerful to retain their power they must persecute the weak. First, in order to keep Scout in control, Ms Catherine punished her after she disrupted the class on the first day of school. Next, in order to hide the fact that Mayella Ewell had kissed a black man, Mr.Ewell accused Tom Robinson of rape which lead to Mr.Robinson's death. Finally, in order for Mr.Ewell to regain his pride after the Tom Robinson case, he attempted to kill Scout and Jem to punish Atticus. The weak will always struggle to take power from the powerful which causes those who are strong to work constantly to oppress them. Today's society still has huge power imbalances, just like Maycomb, because the powerful will always persecute the weak.
Power never helps a situation. It usually just makes the situation worse. Power brings out the worst in others and causes them to oppress others. This is all evident in the novel. The first example of such would be the Tom Robinson trial, where he was still found guilty even after being proven innocent because he was black. The second example of power hunger was how Dill and Jem excluded Scout just because she was a girl. The third and final proof is how Helen was being hollered at by the Ewells when she walked past their house to go to work because not only was she black, she was the wife of the man the Ewells sent to prison. All of those examples prove how power hunger is human kind's hamartia. They demonstrate how having power turns them against their own species, and marginalize them, simply because they have the power to do so. It is rather tragic that even in this day and age, power is still corrupting people, with wars and governments, when the human race should unite and celebrate what they all share and have in common, rather than fighting over their differences.
Marginalizing others into predefined groups based on one aspect alone has the power to diminish their value as a person. The first victim of marginalization is Walter Cunningham when Scout Finch questions the way that poor farming families eat their meals. Arthur “Boo” Radley is also marginalized when Stephanie Crawford spreads rumours about his mental state due to his self-induced solitary confinement. Finally, Tom Robinson is victimized by his community’s marginalization when he is declared guilty of raping Mayella Ewell due to his race, despite the evidence of his innocence. This all demonstrates that marginalization causes the unjust treatment towards the innocent by making them feel powerless. In the future, this marginalizing mindset needs to change because those who are creating diversity cannot do anything without being judged, which creates an unwelcoming society where those who are different have less power.
The citizens of Maycomb often feel powerless due to the unjust treatment of others. Tom Robinson is an example of being marginalized due to the ignorance of others when the judge automatically claims him guilty due to his race. Arthur Radley is also a victim to feeling powerless when the ignorance of Miss Stephanie Crawford causes her to spread rumours about "Boo" because of his mental condition. Lastly, Mr. Raymond is thought of poorly because of his life choices due to the lack of knowledge from the citizens of Maycomb. This all demonstrates how marginalization makes for an imbalanced society due to the ignorance of others. It seems that people who are out of the norm will not have the same power as regular citizens and will struggle with that. Unfortunately, in today's society marginalization still continues but is luckily becoming less of an issue.
The imbalance of power is a reoccurring phenomenon in society. First of all, there is an imbalance of power in the way Alexandra Finch refers to the Cunninghams as inferior because they are not as highly educated as the Finch family. Also, this power imbalance and inferiority is present during the Tom Robinson trial when he is convicted of sexual and physical assault against Mayella Ewell just for being a Negro, even though all of the evidence suggests his innocence. Finally, the power struggle between the Ewells and the rest of Maycomb is present since they live in a decaying and lower-class house, as well have a poor financial situation, isolate them from the rest of Maycomb. This all demonstrates how inferiority only leads to power struggles among various social classes, whether it be because of finances, education or ethnicity; these occurrences in Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird are mere microcosms to what millions of people experience on a daily basis. In the future, society should be more accepting and considerate of others' personal living conditions so that feelings of contempt and superiority can be reduced to create a world where equality reigns.
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