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Essay on Cunninghams in to Kill a Mockingbird

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Words: 694 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Mar 5, 2024

Words: 694|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Mar 5, 2024

In Harper Lee's classic novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird," the Cunninghams are a prominent family in the town of Maycomb. While they may not be the wealthiest or most educated family, they play a significant role in the story, particularly through the character of Walter Cunningham Jr. One of the key characteristics of the Cunninghams is their strong sense of pride and independence. Despite their limited financial resources, they refuse to accept charity or handouts from others. This is evident in the scene where Walter Cunningham Jr. is invited to the Finch household for dinner, and he politely declines the offer of money from Atticus, choosing instead to pay off his debt with goods from his farm. Furthermore, the Cunninghams are portrayed as hardworking and honest individuals. Walter Cunningham Sr. is a farmer who struggles to make ends meet, but he does so through sheer determination and perseverance. He teaches his son, Walter Jr., the value of hard work and integrity, instilling in him a sense of pride in his family name. Despite their rough exterior, the Cunninghams are also shown to have a strong sense of community and loyalty. When Atticus defends Tom Robinson in court, Walter Cunningham Sr. is part of the group that comes to lynch Tom, but he ultimately chooses not to go through with it, showing a moment of moral integrity. This demonstrates that while the Cunninghams may have their flaws, they are ultimately decent and honorable people.

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In conclusion, the Cunninghams may not be the most refined or sophisticated family in Maycomb, but they possess qualities of pride, hard work, honesty, and loyalty that make them stand out in the novel. Through their portrayal, Harper Lee highlights the complexities of human nature and challenges readers to look beyond superficial appearances to see the true character of individuals. They may not be the most prominent family in the town, but their presence in the story adds depth and richness to the narrative, making them an integral part of the fabric of Maycomb society.

The pride and independence of the Cunninghams can be seen in their interactions with the Finch family. In the novel, Atticus Finch offers to lend Walter Cunningham Jr. some money, but Walter refuses, stating, "I can't pay you back all in one day." This demonstrates the Cunninghams' reluctance to accept help without being able to repay it, showcasing their self-reliant nature. This refusal of charity also reflects the family's desire to maintain their dignity and honor, even in the face of financial hardship.

Moreover, the hardworking nature of the Cunninghams is exemplified through their commitment to their farm and their determination to provide for their family. Walter Cunningham Sr. is described as a man who "earned a living for his family," despite the challenges he faces as a farmer in a difficult economic climate. This dedication to hard work and perseverance is passed down to Walter Jr., who learns the value of labor and integrity from his father. The Cunninghams' work ethic serves as a testament to their resilience and strength in the face of adversity.

Additionally, the sense of community and loyalty that the Cunninghams exhibit is evident in their actions during Tom Robinson's trial. While initially part of the group that seeks to harm Tom, Walter Cunningham Sr. ultimately chooses to step back and prevent the violence from escalating. This decision highlights the moral compass that the Cunninghams possess, showing that they are capable of making difficult choices based on their principles and values. This act of loyalty to their community, despite the pressures to conform, underscores the depth of character within the Cunningham family.

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In essence, the Cunninghams are a vital part of the social tapestry of Maycomb, adding layers of complexity and nuance to the narrative of "To Kill a Mockingbird." Through their portrayal, Harper Lee showcases the multifaceted nature of human beings, challenging readers to look beyond stereotypes and prejudices to truly understand the individuals within the story. The Cunninghams may not be the wealthiest or most privileged family in town, but their integrity, hard work, and sense of community make them integral to the themes of the novel and the exploration of justice and morality.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Essay On Cunninghams In To Kill A Mockingbird. (2024, March 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 13, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/essay-on-cunninghams-in-to-kill-a-mockingbird/
“Essay On Cunninghams In To Kill A Mockingbird.” GradesFixer, 05 Mar. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/essay-on-cunninghams-in-to-kill-a-mockingbird/
Essay On Cunninghams In To Kill A Mockingbird. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/essay-on-cunninghams-in-to-kill-a-mockingbird/> [Accessed 13 Jul. 2024].
Essay On Cunninghams In To Kill A Mockingbird [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 05 [cited 2024 Jul 13]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/essay-on-cunninghams-in-to-kill-a-mockingbird/
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