To Kill a Mockingbird
In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee demonstrates the outcome of what happens when people are placed under pressure. She made characters with their own personality, put them through the same circumstance, and has prepared outcomes and reactions differing from character to character.
In today's society, the true personality of certain beings is revealed when they are placed under pressure by everyday circumstances. It is then, that one determines which people actually understand the true meaning and value of a moral existence, and uses it to their own advantage. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee deliberately demonstrates the effects of what happens when different people are placed under pressure. She has created certain characters, each with their own personal identity, placed them under the same pressured circumstance, and has prepared outcomes and reactions differing from character to character. This allows the reader to determine which characters in the novel truly value a moral existence, by exploring the way that they cope with pressure. Atticus, being the centre of the text, has possibly had the biggest amount of pressure placed upon him. He is called to defend a black man charged with the rape of a white girl, yet the outcome is surprising to read. This surprising outcome, however, is leveled out by Mr. Bob Ewell, as the reader discovers, is typical behavior of people under pressure. Jem and Scout, being the two children of the sole parent, Atticus, are greatly influenced by how their father copes under this pressure, thus leaving them with a choice to listen to what he has to say, and to emulate his behavior.
Being a lawyer, Atticus has to support whoever he is called to defend, even if it means being ostracized by the townspeople, though he has no intention of relinquishing the rape case. Out of all the different characters in this book, he is the one least likely to crumble under the amount of pressure that is placed upon him. Harper Lee then explores the concept of empathy and optimistic attitudes to create the quote....Its never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn't hurt you..." when Atticus is explaining to Scout how she should not lose sleep over what name her cousin calls either her or her father. This evidence reveals to the reader what kind of morals and attitudes Atticus lives his life by.
Pressure places people that have different concepts of a moral existence in a position dissimilar to others. Bob Ewell's position is almost the exact contrast to Atticus. Bob is the certain person who, when placed under pressure, becomes livid, threatening, and violent. So violent, in fact, that he spits in Atticus' face and tells him that if he were to take his life, he would "get him." The author then sums up everything that she has written about Bob Ewell in one tiny statement. ."..'Bob Ewell meant business' Tate murmured..." She displays, in this statement, that when Bob is put under pressure he will simply not take no for an answer, and not let anything or anyone stand is his way of getting what he wants. Even if this means manipulating people's prejudices and moral values by inciting racial hatred against Tom Robinson, a black man, to take the attention off the fact that he was guilty of the crime that Tom had been charged with.
Despite all of the pressure that the adults are placed under, the children received the worst confrontations of them all. These confrontations come from the most persuading, manipulating, challenging human beings on the planet--children. As the reader progresses further into the book, they watch as an innocent elementary school playground slowly transforms into a war site. Atticus' children, Scout and her older brother Jem, are the victims of severe bullying and name calling. This causes them immense confusion and leaves them with masses of questions to ask their father. Atticus, however, just answers the children with the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The children, although left as confused as they were, have learnt many valuable life lessons. These lessons have left them able to very easily adopt Atticus' morals and values and make use of them at school. Harper Lee demonstrates in the statement "I drew a bead on him, remembered what Atticus had said then dropped my fists and walked away..." made by Scout during a confrontation with Cecil Jacobs at school, how easily it was to listen to what Atticus had said to her. This is because that when somebody knows the true value of a moral existence, one finds it easier to be influenced by them. The author has made this very clear in this statement.
Therefore the person who demonstrates the value of a moral existence, Atticus, has the more positive influence, making it easier to pass on to other people, especially his children. Bob Ewell, however, only makes himself despised by the community, as he challenges people's thoughts and morals, making it hard to affiliate with him. Harper Lee has deliberately placed different people under circumstances and created dissimilar outcomes to make the novel a perfect example of how some people cope better than others under pressure and live to know the true value of a moral existence.