In Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mocking Bird" nothing is what it first appears to be. I believe this is one of the reasons the book was written. It was a hidden theme in the book that was some times hard to see and other times obvious. But everyone puts on appearances that differ from reality to maintain societal codes.
People want to maintain societal codes because it makes them feel safe. Many people in history and in "To Kill a Mockingbird" like the way things are. And people will do anything to keep that order. The Jury for example, knew that Tom Robinson was innocent but if they voted him innocent the town would have gone mad. People would have rioted and people would have gotten killed. Mr. Cunningham almost saw the light, which is what held up the jury for so long, but he was afraid of what would happen if he did so he voted Tom was guilty.
Everyone doesn't want to face reality and they try so hard to keep things the way they are.
Another example of this is when Boo Radely tries to make contact with Jem and Scout. He wants so badly to talk to someone that he even tries to make contact with kids. He leaves little presents for the kids in the tree trying to make friends with them. But Mr. Radely does not trust Boo, and wants Boo to be locked so that he cannot hurt the family name anymore than he already has so that he put cement in the tree to prevent Boo from making contact with the kids.
Every one in the town wants things they way they are no matter how bad they are including the Blacks of the town. When Scout and Jem...