Sociological Perspective

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Thetheme of social inequality is addressed under many variables,including race. The subject of race is profoundly confirmed over timeto be the cause of significant social differences. It is found thatracial disparities have instituted the injustices that have beenwitnessed among the actual races. Some races are perceived above theothers thus, offering to grab more opportunities for existence. Theconcept of race introduces the fight of superiority and inferioritycomplex. The film, “To Kill a Mockingbird” captures the delicatedetails, establishing social inequality caused by the racialdifferences. The alleged rape of a white woman commits a young blackman to imprisonment. Even though the help of a renowned lawyersuffices to prove his innocence, the all-white jury intently compelshis detention (Lee, 2006).

Themovie describes the issues concerning social inequality. I hadsettled on this film because it is based in the era when America hadjust abandoned slave trade and awakening to the freedom of theblacks. The freedom came with significant resistance from thepractitioners and beneficiaries of the slave trade. Even after theabolishment of slavery, the new status quo was as poison to thepractitioners. They levied all manner of problems against the freedto ensure they still were under control. The justice corridors were arough ground to the freed. The reality at the time almost guaranteedan unjust act against a black person who was presented before thecourt, which was a white man’s affair. The film, “To Kill aMockingbird” is set in these conditions, portraying the exact stateof affairs in this period. The arrest of Tom for allegedly raping awhite woman puts him in danger of being killed. At the time of hisarrest, the white folks were already baying for his blood. His sideof the story to them was not necessary for their kind of justicesystem. They only needed to hear that a black person was charged witha crime against a white person (Osborn, 1995).

Thecourse of the life of Tom was left in the hands of the white folks todetermine. In the court of law, he faced a panel that was composed ofwhite people who were ready to defend one of their own but not tohear the truth and act upon it. The issues of race arose in thesecircumstances, favoring the white person above the black. His lawyer,Atticus who out of philanthropy offered to defend Tom in the courtcommitted all his efforts towards his client’s release butunsuccessfully. Atticus was a white lawyer who had within the courtquarters been an advocate for the freedom of the black person. Thefilm reveals the attitude of Atticus as the defender of human rights.In an environment that gave little concern to the rights of Tom whosupposedly was innocent, Atticus became the only genuine help (Lee,2006). It is important to relay that the composition of the courtonly depicted that the place of justice in that society was left forthe determination by the white folks. The white people had all thesay in the circumstances of a case, whether among the whites orblacks or interracial. The decision that arose from Tom’s case onlydenoted that there was no justice for the black person in the handsof the whites.

Themovie relates the family background of Tom, stating that he was froma low-income family even amongst his fellow blacks. His family wasamong the most destitute of the black families, and therefore, hissocial class was considered to be of the poor. It is this foundationthat ushered him into a state of desperation with no one else todefend him. The family of Tom was marked and associated with offensesin the society so that nobody would let justice take its coursewithout prejudice. The branding of his family made it practicallydifficult for the lawyers to act in his defense until the free man inthought Mr. Atticus came to Tom’s aid. It is evident that thesubject of the social class played a vital role in the determinationof the fate of Tom. The efforts of Atticus were seen to absolve Tomfrom his charges however, the jury already had a bias against Tom(Osborn, 1995). It is my sincere opinion that the jury exhibited biasin Tom’s case because they were convinced that his presence in themainstream society never added any value. The reasoning that hebelonged to the lowest social class might have incited the prejudicethat his inclusion back to the society held no worth. Hence, theincessant drive to send an innocent black man into the prison. Also,it is important to record that the status of a black person in thatperiod was considered way below that of the white people. No matterthe persuasions and appeal to release the innocent black man, theall-white jury deemed it fit to express their obligation towardstheir member. Again, the black people were a minority group in thatperiod. The challenges of a minority group were ingrained in theiraffairs. Most opportunities in the society escaped their grasp suchas positions within the court precincts because they had manyilliterate folks. Tom belonged to the black community, impacting thathe was ignorant of the law, therefore, would not exploit all means toearn his release.

Theevents in the film disclose conflict theory as the essentialperspective that informs the actions of characters. The conflicttheory expounds that tensions explode when status, resources, andpower are unequally distributed between factions in the society(Coser, 1957). It is this conflict that in the first place caused therevolution against slavery. It is exhibited in the particulars ofTom’s case that the inequality resulting from the status of Tom asa black man in the society caused his imprisonment. The oppression ofthe black person in the court explains the bias posed by the conceptof race.


Coser,L. A. (1957). Social conflict and the theory of social change. TheBritish Journal of Sociology,8(3),197-207.

Lee,H. (2006). ToKill a Mockingbird (1962).גלובוסיונייטד.‎

OsbornJr, J. J. (1995). Atticus Finch-The End of Honor: A Discussion of ToKill a Mockingbird. USFLRev.,30,1139.