The era in which the novel takes place, specifically race relations in the United States.
The novel was written in the early 1960s a period when there was an increase in the cases of racial discrimination and judicial lapses in United States of America. This is highly depicted on the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee when she illustrated how the judicial system failed to make the proper judgment in the case that involved the Black man that was accused of raping a white woman (Lee, 1962). Even after the defense lawyer (Atticus Finch) stated that his client (Tom Robinson) was innocent and wasn’t involved in the raping of the white girl (C. Mayella), but the act was as a result of a mutual agreement between these two individuals.
The novel was also published at a time when America was facing a lot of hostility amongst the different races in America especially between the Black Americans and the White Americans. With increased hatred between these races it resulted to an increase of hostility in America; this is where the Blacks were restricted from operating in the areas that were mostly occupied by the whites and vise visor. Consequently, this resulted to a lot of hostility amongst the Americans who were attacking each other due to the existing hatred based on race (Lee, 1962).
The role of the Tom Robinson and C. Mayella in the social structure of the novel.
These two individuals represent different roles in America social field; this is because Mayella is a white girl while Tom is a black male. This is a clear definition of the social representation of these individuals, as it created the gap and hatred between the whites and the blacks in the American society (Lee, 1962). In the novel Tom and Mayella are used by the author to demonstrate the social structure of the American society; thus the author uses them to demonstrate the hatred that exists between the Whites and Blacks in America. This is well explained in the novel when Mayella accused Tom for raping her while in real sense she was the one who seduced him into the act.
Tom represents the Black community as well as the poor individuals in the land of America and thus they will be constantly be exploited with the judicial system; thus they cant be able to receive any justice in the judicial system or even the society in general. They will basically be exploited by the society and accused falsely in offences they aren’t involved in; while Mayella represents the White society and the Rich Americans that will exploit the other citizens of America and also the judicial system (Nichols, 1998).
Most importantly, how the appointment of Atticus Finch as attorney for Tom Robinson stands as a testament to the 14th Amendment.
This was a constitutional requirement that provides any offender with a lawyer that will stand for him in any court of justice incase an individual is found involved in any offence. This is to ensure that the suspect is in a position of receiving fair trial that and at the same ensure that the suspect is legally represented in the court. Thus, making the hearing process to take place smoothly and at the same time easy for the suspect to follow the proceedings and also air out their testimonies that might prove his/ her innocence (Lee, 1962). As the case when Atticus Finch was the lawyer who represented Tom in the court thus ensuring that the client was well represented.