Justice and Fairness in Modern Society: What is Injustice Essay Example


Justice and fairness are conflicting concepts within modern society, and depending on an individual's race, the amount of justice and fairness received may be reduced. The questionable matter of fairness and justice is explored throughout the novel To Kill a MockingBird by Harper Lee, where the setting takes place in a small, racist town named Maycomb County. Many characters experience the cruel reality of injustice and lack of fairness due to their race or beliefs. A black man named Tom Robinson and a shady figure known as Arthur “Boo” Radley are portrayed as mockingbirds in the story.

People often criticized these men  who had nothing but good intentions. The town, plagued by prejudice, granted both of these men cases of injustice. Tom was accused of rape by a family known as the Ewells, who live a rotten and dirty way of life. Arthur Radley on the other hand, was the victim of terrible rumors and was known as a monster by many children. Both Tom and Arthur experienced injustices from their town due to their race or beliefs, and injustices like this still exist in today's modern world.

Twenty-five year old Tom Robinson was wrongly accused and convicted of rape towards a white woman. His trial seemed to go on forever, even though he was innocent; it did not help that most of the people there were against him. Tom Robinson had escaped from jail but got caught and was shot 17 times just like Ernest Thomas from Tallahassee, Florida. Ernest Thomas was also a black man accused of rape and was “shot 400 times when they found him sleeping under a tree” (Four). This acknowledges the fact that Tom was a human being with no rights, but just another black man.

A white man would see it as a better world with one less black man. Tom was affected by this because not only did he lose his life, other people had lost a husband, an employee, and a friend. This man was incriminated just like Ernest Thomas and had an unfair trial. Both of these men were convicted by an all-white jury because “it's a white mans word against a black mans, the white man always win” (Lee 295). Not only were both cases full of inaccuracies and had dubious evidence, but the jury consisted of only white members. Since the courtroom is the only place in Maycomb that should be equal, the jury should at least have several black people so the decision is unbiased. In the American society,  injustice is still visible in many ways just as Tom Robinson and Ernest Thomas have experienced. 

Arthur, also known as “Boo”, Radley is not accepted nor does he fit into Maycomb society because he is different from others. After his arrest for stabbing his father in the knee with scissors, untrue and biased rumors were spread and he was never seen again. Just because all these things were said, Arthur is still a “human being like anyone else… [he has] feelings. [He has] relationships, whether [people] agree with [him] or not." (Lardieri). By staying inside, he is only protecting himself from the outside world that's full of racism, injustice, and prejudice.  All Arthur has ever done for anyone has helped them in countless ways. He should not be responsible for every evil or criminal deed that occurs in the town because of one tiny flaw.

People judge him all the time before they get to know him. Many false allegations were made against Arthur. For instance when people said “he went out at night when the moon was down, and peeped in windows. When peoples azaleas froze in a cold snap, it was because he had breathed on them. Any stealthy small crimes committed in Maycomb were his work” (Lee 10). Arthur is deeply affected by this because he has not been seen outside of his house since he was a teenager; although, he was reluctant, he did come out a couple of times and that was to help people in need or great danger. So, not only do people think poorly of him, but his physical appearance is causing him to look ghostly white due to lack of sun exposure. This man is being punished by a society that is very judgmental. These injustices still exist in the world today in many forms such as African Americans and Immigrants are treated differently by law enforcement or transgender not having the same rights as heterosexuals. 

Overall, Tom Robinson and Arthur Radley have dealt with injustice and prejudice in ways that American society continues to struggle with today. Prejudice and injustice could have profound consequences on those treated unfairly. Targeted people may become withdrawn from society and never reach their potential. Understanding how the situations impact the characters can lead people to a better understanding of the results of these actions. The same problem they faced back then are still present today. These injustices lead to a society filled with fear and hatred, with animosity and ambivalence and with a true lack of peace and happiness.  By seeing things through the eyes of another, people should gain empathy and compassion towards others.

 

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