We can learn from Harper Lee’s description of the courtroom lots about the racism of the society in Maycomb. For example the black people had to wait behind all the white people and let them all go into the courtroom before entering themselves; on top of this they sat in separate areas which implies complete segregation. This extreme separation already gives an idea of what the result of the case will be as black people are already seen as inferior in every way. It is also supprising that even white children were seen as supperior to black adults as 4 black men stood up to offer Scout, Jem and Dill seats.
Harper Lee writes this scene in a very interesting way as the processes of segregation that take place seem natural and there is no objection or retaliation showing how embedded it is in their society. This links in to the earlier description of the outside of the courthouse, which talks about how the people of Maycomb are determined to preserve the past and stay with their old ways, because this is showing how broken and dated their society is.
The Ku Kluk Klan was split into three different eras. The first clan was started by a group of six confederate generals and slowly developed in to a clearer hierarchy. The main leader of the first klan was Nathan Bedford Forrest but George Gordon was also a big influence.
William J. Simmons refounded the Ku Kluk Klan in 1915 as a result of the film “Birth of a Nation” which glorified the first knights. This was the Second Klan which Simmons shortly announced himself as the leader of and became known as the Imperial Wizard, a term that dragged on to the third klan. Hiam Wesley Evans who became the imperial wizard at a later point simply sold the whole organisation to James A. Colescott who took the role of Imperial Wizard but didn’t do much with the group.
Later Klans were more independent and still exist today but they mainly came about to deal with the changing social positions of black people. Bull Conner was the police chief in Birmingham at the time and he was allied with the klan. When the freedom riders came to Birmingham the police gave the Klu Kluk Klan 15 minutes to attack them before they intervened.
This passage of To Kill a Mockingbird is different to most of the book as it involves the older scout speaking, which can be inferred from the maturity and deepness of the discription. It is definitely not the discription of a 9 year old girl.
The passage contains lots of symbolism often referring to the social systems of Maycomb county “The concrete pillars supporting the south roof were to heavy for their burden”. This quote is talking about how the parts of the building built after the courthouse burned down are much weaker then the older parts and the pillars appear unnecessarily strong for the the weak roof above. However if you look deeper into this quote you can begin to notice that some of the things described are linked to other elements of the book. For example the concrete pillars represent the old ideals of the greeks and their supposedly perfect democracy. The roof shows how the society in Maycomb is an attempt to match up to the old ideals and form of democracy but clearly from this quote alone you can tell that it is failing. Despite theur attempts to stay in the past they can not co.pco.pare the stone pillars are to heavy for their burden. It is impossible for this level of deep symbolism and language to be said by a child so we can connote that this is said by older scout or possibly even Harper Lee coming through herself.
“Greek revival columns clashed with a nineteenth century clock tower housing a rusty unreliable instrument” This other quote is more direct however there is still a lot to analyse in it. The first part of the quote shows how the two eras clash and we can tell from this that the attempt to conserve the past is not going as well as they think. Their desperation to live in the past directly relates to the racism and other dated views like the roles of women in the book. The second part of the quote talks about the clock. It is referred to as a rusty unreliable instrument which is ironic seeing as it is part of the new renovations. I can see that this is sayong how flawed their society is and how it is beginning to break down very quickly. I personally think this is more interesting as it is a clock that is being talked about, when there are so many references to the past. I interpret that this is saying their attempts to latch on to old traditions are failing, hence the clock failing.