There's the ordinary kind like us and the neighbors, there's the kind like the Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells down at the dump, and the Negroes." (p. 226) Their placement on this social ladder allowed the Cunninghams to maintain a certain level of pride and dignity.
Education, while important, took a back seat to farming. One of the Cunningham children, Walter, stayed in the first grade for several years because he had to miss school every spring to help on the farm. However, he still attended school when he could, and he even dressed in his best clothes on the first day, though he did not wear shoes. Once another child in the family was old enough to take over the work for him, Walter was sent straight back to school. This shows that education did have some value in the Cunningham household. The necessity to work, however, did not allow the family to take full advantage of the education system at that time.
In addition, like many farmers at that time, the Cunninghams had many children. This was probably in part in order to increase the number of workers on the farm. Without the extra help, the farm would not run and the family could not survive. ...Show more