To Kill A Mocking Bird By Lee The book To Kill A Mockingbird contained various references to actual and symbolic prisons. By analyzing the characters of Bob Ewell and Mayella, as well as Tom Robinson and Boo Radley, the reader recognizes that each of these characters have been trapped in symbolic or actual imprisonment. One may also determine that several of these characters may or may not be set free from their respective form of confinement. Bob Ewell played very complex role in the story To Kill A Mockingbird. Bob Ewell was a man that could not accept his social status. He was an alcoholic that hadnt the faintest concept about how to raise children.
Most of all, Ewell was idle. He was too lazy to work so he relied on a welfare check to sustain himself and his family. Ultimately, most of the government money he received was spent on alcohol.* Ultimately Bob Ewell hated his lifestyle. There was little he could do about his economic conditions, his family life, his home, and the familys reputation or social status. According to Atticus, the status of the Ewells stayed the same throughout history. The Ewell family had no education and no money, and few if any moral values related to social etiquette or a work ethic.
Ever since the beginning Maycomb County was established, the Ewell family was a rural family.* Ultimately, Bob Ewell was living in a prison of al. Bob Ewell was living in a prison of alcoholism, no money, and shame all because of his pedigree. He could have freed himself from the prison and that is what he tried to do. In the story, Bob Ewell blamed a black man for raping his daughter. According to Atticus, Bob thought that blaming someone of a crime would make him a hero and people would respect him.
The only current socially respectable thing that Bob Ewell had was his race, which wasnt a lot of respect. His plan worked in some ways, yet also made him hate himself even more. During the trial, Atticus made Bob Ewell look like a fool to some people. To others, he was still a white man whose white daughter was raped by a black man. Atticus questioned Mayella over and over and her answers were not that good.
Beneath the general racism of the town, people probably thought that Mayellas testimony was a lie. Bob Ewell knew this too. The fact that people may know that he made a story up of his daughter getting raped made him even madder at himself. Bob Ewell was imprisoned in his own life. He was freed from this prison when he died. His way of taking out his anger was to harass the Finch family, until one night when he took it too far.
He tried to kill Scout and Jem. The only way he would get back his self-pride was if he made someone else feel worse. Killing the children was his way of feeling better. Once again his plan backfired and he was set free from his prison of life by dying. Mayella Ewell was living in an actual and symbolic prison.
She lived in a small shack near the dump taking care of her many brothers and sisters. She had no social life like many of the girls and boys her age in Maycomb County. She had no love life either. Mayella had never experienced a good childhood. Instead, she is confined to the duties of taking care of her siblings and the house.
This was her prison. She was also imprisoned from normal childhood. Her father (Bob Ewell) beat her; she had no friends, nor any other form of a social life. Mayella set herself free from this prison by trying to seduce a man, any man, and a black man. After she realized she just tried to escape from prison (trying to seduce a black man), her father caught her and threw her right back in her cell.
This time, she had to lie in court and say the same black man raped her. Her personal pride was shredded. She saved herself from losing all her dignity though. During her testimony in court Atticus asked questions over and over that she did not answer. She did not want to lie, just by not answering Atticus questions, she saved her self-pride by knowing she was going against what her father wanted her to do.
This was little but it was the most courageous thing Mayella Ewell did throughout the entire book. Tom Robinson lived in many prisons. One major confinement from the world he had was his race. He was black. People persecuted him and there was nothing he could do about it.
He had to live behind the dump, he had to have a black job, he lived in a prison of the African-American race and there was no escape from it. When he was accused of raping a white girl, there was nothing he could do to save himself, no matter how good a lawyer he had. Indeed, Atticus did help some people realize their racism although this would not help him from getting out of being persecuted. For this accusation, Tom was sent to an actual prison. He had to relieve himself of these prisons he was living in.
The only was out was death. If being shot 17 times in the back was his way out of this imprisonment, then so be it. Boo Radley lived an entire life of imprisonment. He spent his entire adulthood confined in his home, a home of sadness, and he never had a chance to have friends, a wife, or children. Boo missed out on a big chunk of life and it was spent in the confinement of his home. Even not having any children was a prison of its own for Boo. He found a way to break free from this prison though.
Two children from next-door: Scout and Jem. Although he never got to take care of his pretend-children, his way of thanking them for giving him a shred of happiness was by hiding belongings of his on a tree for Scout and Jem. Another way that Boo broke free from his confinement from the rest of the world was by saving Jem and Scouts lives. If it werent for him, Bob Ewell wouldve killed Jem and Scout. This was the noblest thing that had happened in Maycomb County for a long time. Throughout the story To Kill A Mockingbird, people were placed in symbolic and actual prisons.
The important thing is that these people conquered and broke-free from their own imprisonment. We see that throughout life, everyone encounters their own prison and has to find a way to escape it.