"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."How does this quote relate to the Cunninghams?  Is...

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

How does this quote relate to the Cunninghams?  Is there any form of prejudice against them? If so, what ?

Asked on by amendz

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The Cunninghams fall into the 2nd of the 4 tiers of Maycomb society:

  1. White Professionals (Atticus, Miss Maudie)
  2. Poor White Farmers (Cunninghams)
  3. Poor White Trash (Ewells)
  4. Blacks (Calpurnia, Robinsons)

There is prejudice from nearly every tier of this list toward anyone who is underneathe.  Not every character fits into the generality that the entire town is prejudiced, but to make a generalization, the class system is mostly built on wealth and education, and most are born into a level where they will always remain.  Not understanding this unspoken societal class system is why Miss Caroline has such a hard time on the first day of school.  There are unspoken rules and boundaries that go with it.

This quote applies to directly to many of the different people Scout must "consider" as she grows up.  There are not many characters in the book who are similar to the family she knows.  When Walter comes over for supper for example, in chapter 3, Scout starts to make fun of him for pouring mollasses all over his food.  Scout doesn't understand the look from Atticus, nor the fact that she must finish her meal in the kitchen with Calpurnia.

Scout grows up in the first tier of Maycomb society, a group that Atticus belongs to by education and perhaps income, but not necessarily attitude.  Unlike many people in the "professionals" category, Atticus is not imposing on his children the attitude that they are better than anyone else.  Therefore, not only does Walter Cunningham relate directly to this most famous "Atticus Finch lesson," but nearly everyone else in the town does as well.

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