Corruption, the one thing in this world that causes people to refuse to see what is right in front of them. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird justice is clouded by race, gender or age. To Kill a Mockingbird tells the life of Scout and her older brother, Jem Finch as they grow up in Maycomb, Alabama. The kids along with their friend Dill Harris, become enticed with their isolated neighbor, Boo Radley. Down the line, their father, Atticus, chooses to defend a black man named Tom Robinson. Tom is falsely accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. The kids end up getting involved in the trial, and Tom’s verdict was inevitably called guilty and is killed in an attempt to escape prison. Bob Ewell, Mayella’s father sets his crosshairs on the kids, as a means of getting back at Atticus for completely humiliating and proving his word invalid. Bob sneaks up on the kids as they are walking home from the school pageant on Halloween night and breaks Jem’s elbow. However, Boo Radley shows up to save them and stabs Bob in his rib cage. Several characters are subject to the corruption of the prejudice people of Maycomb. Atticus is perceived as one of the only people who are truly just, but is shunned by society for defending a black man. Tom Robinson, a nice and responsible man, is convicted for a crime he did not commit. Boo Radley, is displayed as a recluse and is rejected by Maycomb. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the race, age and gender of a person obscure the truth, due to this very little true justice is served.
One of the only people who is a true voice of justice in the book, is Atticus. In the book after Atticus was threatened by Bob Ewell. Jem and Atticus discuss the court and its system: “As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it — whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.” (295). Atticus knows that Tom Robinson had no chance in the trial, however Atticus as a just man decides to do the right thing. Atticus realizes that the court is only as good as its jury, “I’m no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system—that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality. Gentlemen, a court is no better than each man of you sitting before me on this jury” (274). Atticus puts the people of Maycomb in a position of unease. Atticus knows that the court can never be just unless they look past the accused’s race and age and decides that the only way to change the world is to provoke them and make them realize that what they are doing is wrong.
Tom Robinson, a hard-working and generous man is sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit. Tom was accused by Bob Ewell for raping and beating his daughter, Mayella Ewell. During Heck Tates testimony it was said, “her right eye was blacked and she was beaten mostly on the right side of the face” (238). The person that had beaten her had clearly been left-handed, however when