"A person will lose the fight for justice if the person is considered as insignificant by the public." Discuss this quote from To Kill a Mockingbird.Please include at least 3 examples of characters...

"A person will lose the fight for justice if the person is considered as insignificant by the public." Discuss this quote from To Kill a Mockingbird.

Please include at least 3 examples of characters or events and some quotes from the novel.

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Other "insignificant" characters who lose their battles in To Kill a Mockingbird:

  • WALTER CUNNINGHAM SR.  Cunningham's land is entailed and what acres are not entailed are "mortgaged to the hilt." He is unable to take a full-time government job since his land and crops will "go to ruin." Poor and without significant political influence in the community (possible KKK activities not withstanding), Cunningham's family remains penniless and his children go hungry.
  • ARTHUR "BOO" RADLEY.  When he breaks the law as a teenager, young Arthur's father takes control and banishes him to a prison within his own home. When his father dies, Boo's brother returns from Pensacola to look over him. Today, the mentally ill have more rights and options than to just be shut away for the rest of their lives.
  • DOLPHUS RAYMOND.  When Raymond's fiance commits suicide after discovering his black mistress, Raymond retreats from white society to live among Maycomb's Negroes. He becomes an outcast and a subject of gossip despite his relative wealth and education. "Cry about the simple hell people give other people... Cry about the hell white people give colored folks..."
mkcapen1 | Student

Atticus, the lawyer and father who defends Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white girl, recognizes that he is up against a jury that has already decided Tom's fate before they ever went to trial.  When Atticus loses the case, Tom tries to escape and is killed.  The town doesn't even blink at eye at his death.

Stated by Atticus at the end of the trial: "and so a quiet, respectable, humble Negro who had the unmitigated temerity to "feel sorry" for a white woman has had to put his word against two white people's."(204)

"The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box."(220)

After Tom was killed by the prison guards, Atticus relays the story to his sister and Calpurnia.  He makes the following statement about Tom's death.

"What was one more Negro, more or less, among two hundred of em?"(235)


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To Kill a Mockingbird

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