Social inequality is the existence of unequal opportunity for different social classes. Social inequality is found within every society and is based upon many different factors. Some of these factors include people’s level of education and their level of income. Harper Lee shows social inequality is largely influenced on the amount of education received in her book To Kill A Mockingbird.
One of the main characters in To Kill A Mockingbird is Jem Finch.
Jem Finch defines the social hierarchy of Maycomb, Alabama into four different categories. Jem puts people like his family, the Finches, at the top of the hierarchy. The Finches are a very educated, well off, white, family. Below the Finches Jem puts the Cunninghams. The Cunninghams are a poor, semi-educated, white family. Even though the Cunninghams are in some bad situations, they are still nice people. This is why they are above the next people: the Ewells. The Ewells are the second to last on Jem’s social hierarchy scale.
The Ewells are what would be consider “white trash”. They are rude, filthy, poor, uneducated people. The only reason the Cunninghams and Ewells are not on the same level is because of how rude the Ewells are. The last on Jem’s scale is the blacks. The setting of To Kill A Mockingbird took place in the 1930’s, which is why the blacks
are on the bottom. This also explains why the blacks were not allowed the same opportunities as everyone else was.
Blacks were not given the same education opportunities as the whites. A majority of the citizens in this time period were extremely racist.
As previously stated the Finches are the most financially stable and they have the most education out of everyone in the book. Their level of education is shown through the fact that Atticus, the father of Jem and Scout, is an attorney. Even in the 1930’s being an attorney was not easy to become; it required a lot of schooling. Atticus being an attorney is also why they a…