Scout does not just exaggerate her thoughts and views, she puts emphasis. She greatly emphasizes the description of the Radley house all throughout To Kill a Mockingbird, and even referred to Miss Caroline in that “she looks and smells like a peppermint drop” (16). When she and her older brother, Jem, meet Dill – Charles Baker Harris – they begin to explore and roll play, exaggerating the rumored stories of the legendary “Boo” Arthur Radley. When she and Jem pass by Mrs. Dubose’s house, she gets much too frightened by her appearance and lack of sympathy toward them (102).
She also exaggerates her anger when others call her father, Atticus, a “nigger-lover” for defending a black man in court, even though she doesn’t know the meaning of the word. The fact that she doesn’t know it and that she willingly went to Calpurnia’s church reveals that she is not prejudice, or rather, just naive (120). How she and Jem tend to describe the Radley house always comes with an eerie undertone, as well as Mrs. Dubose. Being so young, she cannot help but to stretch things out, like Dill does when he says they “fought off an entire mob with their bare hands” (158).
This not only helps set the tone, but it also reminds the reader that the narrator herself is a child in the first grade, though most think that she thinks very maturely for her age. That may also be true in a sense because of how she innocently helped deal with Mr. Cunningham with just her words when he came with the mob. Scout is a very young child. She is curious, but she asks the wrong questions. According to the older members of her neighborhood (like Mrs. Dubose or Aunt Alexandra), she is rampant and the complete opposite of “ladylike” (101, 136), giving off an air of impertinence.
She had asked Atticus many questions that she wass not supposed to ask, yet Atticus answers in a manner that is true, but not too blatant. Adults are always criticizing Scout about how she acts and what she wears. Aunt Alexandra orders that Calpurnia be fired because she is a black woman, seems to be too close to the children and she took Scout and Jem to her church, which is a church mainly for the Negroes (120, 136), which if not already implied, is not idealistic during that set time period.
What is at the same time surprising and not, is how ignorant society is toward a certain group or groups of people. In this case, public insensitivity is directed toward the black community. Many who are ostracized do not know what they have done wrong or how they managed to create that type of social barrier between them and the world, but that is what segregation typically is. In To Kill a Mockingbird, there is always the distance between the blacks and whites, within churches, families, and even in court.
Despite Atticus’ efforts to prove Tom Robinson innocent (which he obviously was), because of the fact that he is black, the jury announced him to be guilty (211). In the very next chapter, even Scout and Jem see it to be unfair. When Calpurnia decides to take Scout and Jem with her to church, the second the “white man’s kids” walk in, the rest of the church stare at them because it was not normal to have white people in a black church; it almost never happened (120). It was as if the rest of Maycomb gave no thought to the truth or admit to it.
Their insensitivity became an obstacle in whether or not an innocent man should die, with even the killers themselves subconsciously knowing he was innocent Injustice is inevitable and spread throughout every little and large corner of the world. There are social, economic, and racial discriminations, or even separations within schools and families. Fact is, from the very start of prehistoric or even modern civilization, people were grouped separately from animals from plants, plant and animal species from each other, and race from race.
Though racism is not as wide today, there is still sexism, disparities in economic and community standards, and more recently introduced, the segregation of gay couples. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee introduces a small portion of this kind of segregation, and it shows how insensitive the rest of the world is when it comes to following the so-called rules set by society, and history shows that in spite of human intelligence, ignorance of those different from themselves will always lead to injustice.