Social Inequality Think of social inequality. Is it fair for people to be ranked and divided simply because of their social status? Maybe you’re thinking of the high school social rankings but it’s more than that. People are being treated according to their social classes by the colour of their skin or their family background or financial status, all aspects that we do not have a choice in. Take the Royal family for instance. They are on the top of the pyramid, simply because of their status and wealth; people will treat them differently to how they would treat us commoners.
They are deemed superior simply because they are the Royals, but it is only because they were born into that family with a silver spoon in their mouths. What about those homeless people on the streets? Would you treat them the same way you would treat the royals? In To Kill a Mockingbird, the Finches were a pretty well off family with Atticus being related to nearly everyone in town and his job as a lawyer provided sufficient money to support his family. The Cunningham family on the other hand, are poor famers that try to scrape along with what they have.
They are ridiculed because of their lack of wealth, and because they were ‘Cunninghams’. Although the Cunninghams are poor, they are respectable because they find other ways to pay instead of money. Scout is unaware of such things as social standings, but is however, aware that the Cunninghams are poor; and points out rather helpfully to her first grade teacher Miss Caroline, that Walter Cunningham is ‘a Cunningham’ so he would never be able to pay back her quarter if she had lent it to him.
Later Scout is disgusted by Walter’s eating manners, which leads to her being scolded by Calpurnia to not judge someone because of whether they were poor or not. Even if the Cunninghams were poor, they were nothing compared to the Ewells. They were typical ‘white trash’ characters that lived with horrible hygiene, uneducated and did not abide by the law. The Ewells were considered the worst of the worst with their uncouth manners and language. Most people avoided them but felt sorry for them just like Tom did for Mayella. However he helping her only led to landing him a court case and ultimately death.
But even below the Ewells on the social pyramid is the black community. They are deemed even worse than the Ewells because they are Negroes. The colour of their skin decided their social status and people judged them simply because of that. They put up with far worse treatment than the Ewells or the Cunninghams. Social inequality just goes to show if people are labelled ‘Cunningham’ or ‘Ewell’ or ‘Negro’. It is pigeonholing people into someone might not be. Social status does not decide the people we are and people should be treated equally no matter what.