Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird

prejudice essays on to kill a mockingbird

Show More Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird The definition of prejudice is preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. There is a lot of prejudice throughout the book To Kill a Mockingbird. The author of this book is Harper Lee. It was published in 1960 and was a book based around the Great depression. There are three main types of prejudice throughout the book. There is gender, class, and racial prejudice. An example of people that show prejudice are Jem, Bob Ewell, and the Cunninghams. Jem shows gender prejudice, Bob Ewell shows racial prejudice, and the Cunninghams show class prejudice. There is gender prejudice in To Kill A Mockingbird . An example of this is when Jem tells Scout to stop acting like a girl. “I was not …show more content… An example of racial prejudice is when one of Scout's classmates comes up to her and says, “Your dad's a nigger lover.” Scout gets upset by this and goes home after school and asks Atticus about “nigger lover”. “Scout” said Atticus,”nigger lover is just one of those terms that don’t mean anything” (Lee 107). Another example of racial prejudice is when Calpurnia takes Jem and Scout to her black church. Then they come in a women named Lula said that Jem and Scout shouldn’t be at their church. This shows that in the town of Maycomb blacks and whites just aren’t accepting of each other. The last example of racial prejudice is when Scout asked how they know if they are negroes or not. This shows that people just say you are a negro because of the color of your skin but someone could have negro in them and not have dark …show more content… An example of class prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird is when Aunt Alexandra wanted Scout to dress and act like a lady. This shows that the Finches are a in a higher class than most people and Aunt Alexandra wants to show it in the way they dress. Another example is when Walter Cunningham didn’t have any lunch money. An excerpt from the text is “He didn’t have any lunch” I said , and explained my involvement of Walters dietary affairs. This shows that the Cunninghams are in the lower class because they don’t have enough money to give Walter a lunch at school, because of this the Finches let Walter have dinner with them every once and awhile. The last example of class prejudice is when Tom Robinson is accused of rape just because he was black. This is class prejudice because if you are black you are the lowest class in the town of Maycomb. Tom had way better evidence that Bob and Mayella Ewell but he still was accused of the rape because he was

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What Is The Theme Of To Kill A Mockingbird

For example, Mrs.Dubose, a senior living couple houses down from Atticus’s house, greatly criticizes Atticus by telling his children that “Atticus no better than the n-----s and trash he works for” (Lee 102). Because of his attempt to help an African American man, Atticus is also being frowned upon in his family. Another example would be when Francis said, “Grandma says now Atticus turned out a n----r-lover, the family never be able to walk the street of Maycomb again” (Lee 83). Some members of the Finch family believe that Atticus is damaging the whole family’s reputation in Maycomb through “loving” African Americans. This is demonstrated when Aunt Alexandra, who has the typical views of a middle class person, refuses Scout to go to Calpurnia’s house only because she is black.…

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prejudice essays on to kill a mockingbird

Jenna Eddie

United States

To Kill a Mockingbird Analytical Essay

Written By: Jenna Eddie

May 22, 2017

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This is so well crafted and such a good way to frame the theme of the book. Absolutely beautiful!

cool we are reading to kill a mockingbirdin Language arts makes since to me now hehehe i like it <3

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prejudice essays on to kill a mockingbird


To Kill A Mockingbird Prejudice Essay

To kill a mockingbird prejudice quotes.

Prejudice is one of the world’s greatest struggles. It does not only hold society back, but is harmful to the people who do good .In Harper Lee’s book To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout and Jem live through and witness prejudice and racism in the small town of Maycomb. They see someone wrongly accused of a crime because of his race. Scout and Jem also witness and take part in prejudice against a man no one knows anything about. In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird Harper Lee uses characterization to show the negative effects of prejudice and racism.

Effects Of Sexism In To Kill A Mockingbird

The act of prejudice is one that everyone experiences. Whether it be, a person who is distributing hate, or a person who is receiving hate, everyone has contact with it. Although it is present all over the globe, it is prominent in the United States. Both in the present and the past, endless acts of discrimination have taken place and left a monumental impact on the country. The effect that it leaves can be seen in the novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. In this story, sexism, racism, and isolation, are demonstrated in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama during the 1930’s. As the story progresses, Lee compares these concepts to one another and uses them to make a statement about the problematic nature in America.

Examples Of Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird

Prejudice is seen throughout the world in many forms even after the Civil Rights Movement. To Kill a Mockingbird shows the extreme prejudice that African Americans were faced with at that time period. This book shows prejudice through character interactions.

Effects Of Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird

Prejudice has been apart of human beings since the beginning of time. People hold disparaging views towards other groups because of sex, race, color and religious beliefs.In today’s society, one of the ongoing problems is, too many men and women are prejudice. Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, browbeats the future and leaves the present baffling. No one is born prejudice, therefore it is taught. In the popular novel based on a true story “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, prejudice is also one of the ongoing problems.

Prejudice should not exist in this world. But unfortunately, it does and it always will somehow. The book, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is an inspiring book and brings out hard truths about how the world used to be, about the great depression, and in some aspects how it still is today. It follows a girl named Scout and her family through three years of her childhood. Her father, Atticus Finch, took on a very big challenge to defend a negro for raping a girl. The book sort of revolves around this event. Prejudice is in many different forms of discrimination. Throughout the book it is demonstrated by race, class, and gender.

To Kill A Mockingbird Prejudice Analysis

What really is prejudice? Prejudice is an opinion based only upon personal bias, and not any actual facts or evidence. Within the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, there are a variety of situations where prejudice is taken into effect over facts and evidence. When Lee does this, he is not only just giving the characters some detail, but he is also showing what prejudice really means and how it can affect people. A few examples could be when scout is basing her opinion on no facts, Lila at the church getting her opinion from just the kids being white, Boo Radley being judged without facts by everyone, and Tom Robinson being black meaning is already guilty.

Prejudice And The Dark Abyss Of Prejudice By Harper Lee

“Prejudices are the chains forged by ignorance to keep men apart.”(Marguerite Gardiner Blessington). Over the years, countless people have fallen in to the dark abyss of prejudice because they merely following the trend of society. Prejudice is exactly what it sounds like; its root words are firmly planted. Prejudice may be defined as the act of pre judging someone because of their race, religion, sex, ethnic background, or can be based solely on how they look. Prejudice is a flaw in society many have dealt with for centuries, but one race has suffered in the United States of America where “all men are equal”, more than any other race in history. If all men are created equal, how could we treat people of a different color so unjustly? It is a travesty that cannot be forgotten and that can not, must not, and shall not be repeated. In the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee states the truth behind a world with closed minds. She put the world into perspective through her commentary that is still relevant today. Through her writing, we see the compassion, sympathy, and tolerance, or the lack thereof, from all perspectives: a father, a racist man, a confused woman, children, negroes, and a dear lawyer named Atticus Finch.

Theme Of Marginalisation In To Kill A Mockingbird

The novel To Kill a Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee and was published in 1960. This novel is included in various curriculums to enable students to take this well-written novel to identify the themes and messages and be educated from their literature. Prejudice is defined as a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. The different forms of prejudice that will be analysed are racial, class and social, thus, leads to the citizens of Maycomb to marginalises characters and treat them as an insignificant. It is evident that many characters in this novel suffer from different types of prejudice, which creates a sense of marginalisation. Tom Robinson, Mayella Ewell and Arthur Radley are the important, main

The Theme of Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird Essay example

what a bad father he is and why his family have been given a bad name.

Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Essay

“To better understand a person you have to climb up inside their skin and walk around in it.” The quote previously stated by Atticus in the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is an unveiling of the upcoming forms of prejudice. The setting for the novel is a fictitious town called Maycomb. This town is situated in Alabama. The racial prejudice shown in the novel has a lot to do with the town being situated in the southern United States. The backwardness and narrow-mindedness of the community fueled racism in Maycomb. These negative qualities account for the social and religious prejudices in the novel. Maycomb people have very inward looking views and so these views are passed on

Theme Of Diction In To Kill A Mockingbird

As the United States “progresses” in economic, educational and technological advancements we still are fighting for racial equality. With more than 50 years since the brown vs. board of education case there is still incidents like Ferguson, Baton Rouge, and Phiando Castile where many questions are still unanswered. However, Harper Lee dealt with these same problems in 1960 when she wrote To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee created an emotionally confronting story. Lee writes through the eyes of “Scout” a lawyer’s daughter in a small sleepy town of Maycomb in Alabama during the great depression. Throughout the book “Scout” learns coming of age lessons from Atticus and her own experiences. But when Atticus takes on a case defending a black man (Tom Robinson) convicted for rapping a white woman (Mayella Ewell) and is found guilty. “Scout” her brother Jem begin to understand the effects of the prejudices in society. Therefore, Lee applies the literary concepts of diction and tone to revel the truth that prejudices in society negatively affect the way people treat each other in To Kill a Mocking Bird.

Essay Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Prejudices are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.

To Kill A Mockingbird Pride And Prejudice Essay

“The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice,” a quote by Mark Twain. There will always be hatred and love throughout the world, but to get from one to the other we must get over our prejudices. That is the key to love and kindness. We see prejudice everyday, whether it be against a black man in a grocery store or a child being forced to the sidelines because of what he’s wearing or his looks. We’re going to be discussing the prejudices in books and a moment in real life history. In this essay, we’ll be talking about The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, To Kill a Mockingbird, the Holocaust, and The Merchant of Venice, and how they have prejudice in them.

Essay about The Theme of Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird

“To Kill a Mocking Bird” is a novel which was written by Harper Lee. In my essay I will discuss how Harper Lee explores the theme of prejudice by looking at the writing techniques and how they affect people.

Prejudice and Tolerance in To Kill a Mockingbird

In the country town of Maycomb, people were easily influenced so prejudice was shown by most. The citizens knew that the colour of your skin determined your place in life and that Negroes were to be treated differently. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, there was only one true character that portrayed the true essence of tolerance. Atticus Finch stood on his own two feet, and never formed an opinion unless he had prior knowledge on the particular person or situation. Throughout the entirety of this novel, it was Atticus alone who not only was tolerant, but set an exemplarily example to his children, and the town, of how knowing before judging is not only important, but vital to society. “First of all…if you can learn a simple trick Scout, you’ll get along better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person till you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it” (p.33). This is a perfect example of how Atticus passes on his knowledge to his children, and educates them on how respect

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Prejudice in to Kill a Mockingbird essay

As a very powerful attitude that is either negative or hostile, prejudice refers to a very unfavorable feeling about a person or group simply because the person or group has membership with a particular group; prejudice is formed without any thought, reason, or knowledge to support the belief (Aronson, Wilson, Akert, & Sommers, 2016). When people are prejudiced against a particular group, they will engage in unenthusiastic and adverse behaviors toward anyone who is a member of the group against whom they are prejudiced. They unfairly lump all people of that group together and hold a single impression of all members of the group. Because people are members of the group against whom they are prejudiced, they assign negative qualities to all people who are a part of the group (Aronson, Wilson, Akert, & Sommers, 2016).

As the movie opens, viewers see the first evidence of prejudice when Jean Louise Finch, better known as Scout, share the story of her first relative that had come to America; Simon Finch left England after being persecuted because of his religious beliefs. As a victim of prejudice because of his religious persecution, Simon Finch does not totally reject discrimination; in fact, once he arrived in America, he purchased slaves to work on his plantation so he could become rich.

One day, Jem, Scout’s older brother and Atticus’s son, invites Walter, one of Scout’s classmates to lunch. As they eat lunch, Atticus, Scout’s father, talks to Walter about his family and their farm. Walter explains that he is having trouble keeping up in school even though he is only in first grade; he blames his scholastic problems on the fact that he has to help work the fields on the farm with his dad. This portion of the movie illustrates Scout’s prejudice; she mistakenly believes that all poor people are dumb, but she is proven to be wrong. Instead, the movie explains that poor people lack resources, but they are not all dumb. While they are still at the table, Scout acts annoyed as Walter decides that he wants molasses all over his food.

Not shy, Scout expresses her disgust with Walter’s actions. Then, Calpurnia takes Scout away from the table; once they are away from the table, Calpurnia admonishes Scout by telling her that she should never be so haughty in commenting on other people’s habits. This scene serves as another example of Scout’s rush to judgement when somebody does something differently than she does. Calpurnia attempts to teach Scout an important lesson when she acknowledges that Walter is different, but he still deserves respect; likewise, she is trying to instill the idea that people can be different, but Scout still needs to treat them respectfully.

Miss Maudie, a neighbor of the Finch’s, encourages the children to start questioning prejudice instead of just simply allowing such behavior; she tries to teach them that all people should be treated with care and respect. She tries to help Scout understand Boo Radley’s behaviors and reasons for not leaving the house by blaming them on a father who was prejudiced. A day after Miss Maudie tries to help Scout understand more about Boo, she, Jem, and their friend Dill attempt to send a note to Boo through the window of his house. Their actions do not go unnoticed; when Atticus realizes what they are doing, he scolds them and warns them to leave Boo alone. He acknowledges that he may seem peculiar to them, but they still should not bother him.

At school, Scout hears other kids talking about her dad. Once home, she asks her dad why the kids are saying what they are saying. Atticus tells Scout that in his job as a lawyer, he is the defense attorney for Tom Robinson, a black gentleman. While Atticus tells Scout that he knows that he will not win the case, he explains that he feels an ethical obligation to represent the man. Atticus warns Scout that there will be people who say mean and nasty things because he is representing Mr. Robinson; he even tells Scout that some of the family’s friends could engage in these nasty behaviors. Despite whatever happens and whatever people say, Atticus tells Scout that she was not to engage in fights, and he also told that she should stand tall and hold her head high. Scout actually took her dad’s advice; in fact, it was the only that Scout had ever avoided an opportunity to fight. Throughout this ordeal, Jem and Scout started to realize that people in Maycomb were prejudice. Atticus used the opportunity to teach his kids about courage and tolerance. Despite what people said, Atticus continued his fight for what he believed was just and right.

The Finch family had a Christmas tradition; all members of the family would meet at Finch’s Landing for their holiday celebration. While spending time with the family, Francis, Aunt Alexandra’s grandson, makes a derogatory remark to Atticus. Scout does not skip this fight; instead, she engages and punches Francis. Instead of admitting what he did to initiate the fight, Francis claims that Scout cursed at him and hit him without provocation; as a result, Uncle Jack decides to punish Scout by spanking her. This incident shows the widespread prevalence against blacks in Maycomb; in fact, the prejudice is so fierce that not even Atticus’s only family supports him and his defense of Mr. Robinson.

As the trial gets closer, Atticus warns Scout and Jem that it is going to be very difficult for them. As he offers an explanation, he tries to help them comprehend how people react when something involves a black person in Maycomb. He tells them that even reasonable people do not act appropriately. With a full grasp of the ways in which prejudice can impact people, Atticus makes a very concerted effort to educate his children and prepare them for the harsh realities that will accompany life during the trial.

Jem and Scout suffer harassment every time they pass Mrs. Dubose’s house. One of their neighbors, Mrs. Dubose is an old woman who is clearly a racist. Every trip past her house results in a condemnation of their father and his efforts to defend Mr. Robinson. Even though Jem is older than Scout, he finally decides that he has had enough. No longer able to take Mrs. Dubose’s harassing ways, he decides to act out; he tears flowers from her camellia bushes.

When Atticus learns what Jem did, he decides that Jem must visit with Mrs. Dubose each afternoon, and while he is there, he has to read to her; Scout accompanies Jem on his daily visits. Initially, Mrs. Dubose acts strangely and cuts the reading time short when the kids visit; however, over time, the strange acts fade, and she allows them to stay longer. It is not long after their visits to Mrs. Dubose’s house end, Mrs. Dubose suddenly passes away. Mrs. Dubose had left a single camellia flower for Jem; incidentally, it was white. Although Scout and Jem did not realize it, Mrs. Dubose had suffered from an addiction to morphine; Atticus proudly told his children that their reading visits had assisted Mrs. Dubose in kicking her drug habit prior to her death. Despite the fact that Mrs. Dubose was unkind to Atticus as he defended Mr. Robinson, Atticus was not swayed by that. In fact, she went so far as to ridicule Atticus; nonetheless, he still respected Mrs. Dubose and called her the most courageous person he had ever met.

As Atticus told his children, she knew that she was beaten, but she still found it within herself to fight no matter what. Atticus used Mrs. Dubose’s battle with her drug addiction to teach a very important lesson to his children; he was able to use her battle to illustrate courage and dignity. As Atticus readily admitted to his children, she was prejudiced; however, she was still courageous. He also credited her for the fight against the morphine addiction; as he explained, she knew it was a lost cause, but she still persevered and fought the good fight. It is through this lesson that Atticus hopes that Scout and Jem will come to learn that courage cannot be defined as the ability to use a gun, and it cannot simply be defined by strength. Instead, he wants them to see courage as the ability to stand up for what they see as right, and they continue to take that stand no matter what happens.

When Atticus has to be away from home, Calpurnia, the Finch’s cook, takes charge of the kids. One Sunday while she is in charge, she invites Scout and Jem to church. Calpurnia attends an all-black church, and the congregational members all joyfully welcome Scout and Jem. Well, that is all but one congregation member; Lula actually expresses anger because she does not approve of Calpurnia brining the Finch children to their all-black church because they are white. Lula’s anger is just another instance of prejudice in Maycomb. This instance of prejudice is used to show that all forms of prejudice are bad. Lula does not appreciate how blacks are treated throughout Maycomb; as a result, she does not trust white people. Believing that the all-black church was a safe place for blacks, she did not like the idea of white people entering the church. In her mind, she sees that all of the power in Maycomb rests with the white people. She recognizes that white people are powerful and black people are powerless.

As the church service continues, the congregation takes up a collection for Mr. Robinson’s wife, Helen Robinson. Suddenly, it dawns on Scout that Mr. Robinson is the gentleman that her father is defending. With that realization, she turns to Calpurnia and questions what Mr. Robinson had done. Calpurnia explains that Bob Ewell accused Mr. Robinson of raping Mayella, his daughter. Although she does not understand the meaning of rape, Scout is in disbelief when she hears that people would trust any members of the Ewell family. As the head of the indigent Ewell family, Mr. Ewell is a malicious man; he also does not provide the care his children deserve. For example, he let his children go without food to purchase alcohol for him to drink. Despite the racism in Maycomb, Scout has not let it impact the way in which she views the world because she is a child and the daughter of Atticus Finch who has fought so hard to ensure that his children always treat everyone with dignity and respect. When she reveals her astonishment that anyone would believe Bob Ewell, she indicts people in Maycomb for believing Mr. Ewell purely because he is white.

When the Finch kids get home church, they are greeted by Aunt Alexandra; she is going to be living with them so that Scout will have a female perspective in the household. In moving into the house, Aunt Alexandra is displaying a form of prejudice; since she is worried that Scout is not feminine enough, she engages in gender prejudice.

Once she moves in with Atticus and the children, Aunt Alexandra begins socializing in Maycomb; she enjoys the social status that the Finch family has developed over the years. Scout recognizes that Aunt Alexandra has a different belief when it comes to people. While Scout has always thought that good people are the people who use what they have bene given and make the best of it, Aunt Alexandra, on the other hand, believes that family’s with a rich and old family history are superior. While staying with them, Aunt Alexandra pushes Atticus to start teaching the children about the Finch family history. When Scout sees Atticus making this odd change, she cries. When Atticus sees that it moves Scout to tears, he readily gives up. Despite putting forth her best analytical effort to understand Aunt Alexandra’s thinking, Scout just cannot understand the importance of social class. Again, this is just another one of the many example of prejudice portrayed in the movie.

One day during the summer, Scout hears someone use the word rape. When she hears the word again, she wants to understand what it means; thus, she asks Atticus to explain it to her. As he always has been, Atticus remains true to his belief system, and he honestly addresses the question with Scout and explains the meaning of the word. In asking the question, the story about the visit to Calpurnia’s church comes up; as one might expect, Aunt Alexandra was appalled that the children went to an all-black church. It leads to an argument between Aunt Alexandra and Atticus; Aunt Alexandra makes a case to suggest that Calpurnia’s services are no longer needed. Again, remaining true to his character, Atticus refuses to entertain the idea. Instead, he makes it clear to Aunt Alexandra that Calpurnia is not just hired help; she is actually one of the family. This display from Aunt Alexandra is just another example of her racial prejudice and social prejudice.

A group of men show up at the Finch’s home; they want to speak to Atticus. After learning that Mr. Robinson is about to be transported to the jail in Maycomb, the men want to make it clear to Atticus that this will not be received well, and it could result in trouble. As the trial date gets closer and closer, the amount of prejudice around Maycomb continues to increase, and it ultimately ends with violence.

Finally, the day of the trial arrives, and Atticus heads to the courthouse; people are everywhere. The trial has attracted the interest and attention of people from all over Maycomb. For example, a group of Baptists are at the trial, and they pass judgement against Miss Maudie because she has a garden. Much like Atticus, Miss Maudie looks at life from a moral perspective; she actually recites a Bible verse to the Baptists to illustrate that God finds her garden beautiful regardless of what they think. In condemning Miss Maudie for having a flower garden, the prejudice is beyond ludicrous.

Despite their dad’s advice not to show up at the trial, Jem and Scout make their way to the courthouse. Arriving late, they have trouble finding seats; in fact, the only remaining seats are in the balcony, and those are the seats where black people are required to sit. While the black people open their arms to welcome Scout and Jem, the white people do not welcome the black to sit with them in the balcony. Rather, there is segregation in the balcony because of the prejudices at work.

During the trial, Jem gets excited when he realizes that Atticus makes a point by getting Mr. Ewell to write his name; when he does, it reveals that he is left-handed, and a left-handed person would normally hit somebody’s face on the right side. Jem’s childhood innocence is on display when he thinks that evidence alone will be able to acquit Mr. Robinson. Through his childhood innocence, Jem condemns Maycomb’s rampant racism.

When Mayella, the alleged victim, takes the stand, Atticus has her to identify Mr. Robinson. When she does, it becomes obvious that the accused has no use of his left arm; therefore, how would he have ever had the capability to beat and to rape Mayella? Using his best legal skills, Atticus asks Mayella a very direct and pointed question. He asks if it was, in fact, Mr. Bob Ewell who beat her? Suddenly, she was no longer so confident; now, she sat on the witness stand refusing to provide Atticus with a response. With clear-cut evidence now presented, the outcome should be clear. Mr. Robinson does not have the physical ability to batter the left side of anyone’s face. It becomes blatantly clear that there is one and only one explanation if the jury decides to find Mr. Robinson guilty and convict him. Whether it is an unconscious decision or a conscious decision, racism would be the only way that the jury could return a guilty verdict.

As the trial testimony comes to an end, Atticus prepares to deliver his closing remarks to the jury. He stresses the lack of evidence on the prosecution’s side. Atticus reminds the jury that a courtroom is one place in America—and perhaps the only place in Maycomb—where all men are equal. Then, he looks at the jury and asks them to their responsibility. Despite all of his personal beliefs and attempts to treat everyone with dignity and fairness, Atticus admits that courtrooms provide the only place to truly combat the problem of prejudice. After deliberations, the jury returned, but they would not look at Mr. Robinson. Even Scout knew what this meant—guilty, and it was. Despite his best efforts, Atticus watched as evil triumphed over good. Evidence took a back seat, and racism won that day in the Maycomb courthouse.


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Essay Service Examples Social Issues Prejudice

Prejudice As the Main Theme in the Novel To Kill a Mockingbird: Critical Analysis

Prejudice is a negatively biased opinion based on stereotypes and ideas not proven to be true, which is a main theme in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Prejudice may make one feel excluded, dejected, or inferior to others in society, which is what three certain characters feel in this story. To Kill a Mockingbird is a book written by Harper Lee published in 1960. Within this fiction, the characters affected by prejudice are Walter Cunninham Jr., Scout Finch, and Tom Robinson. They all experience a different type of discrimination through contrasting ways which in turn affect their lives.

Walter is affected by social prejudice, Scout distressed by gender and age prejudice, and Tom troubled by racial prejudice. Walter Cunningham Jr. comes from an extremely poor family with little resources to survive off of, resulting in placement towards the bottom of society. In Maycomb, citizens will often treat those who live differently in a harsh manner, such as how Aunt Alexandra tells Scout she cannot invite Walter to dinner because “…he-is-trash” (Lee 301). Aunt Alexandra has a strong opinion towards the Cunninghams as she believes they are dirty and that the Finches should not associate with them as they are not their “kin.” Not to mention, she does not even want Scout to hang around Walter, as she fears Scout may catch onto his “dirty” ways.

Another example of Walter Cunningham experiencing social prejudice is when he is eating dinner with the Finches. Scout criticizes Watler for pouring syrup all over his dinner, and when Calpurnia lectures her about it, Scout simply replies, “He ain’t company Cal, he’s just a Cunningham-” (Lee 33). Scout is showing prejudice towards Walter and thinks of the Cunninghams as people who are less fortunate and at the bottom of the social class. She is aware of who the Cunninghams are and their capabilities, knowing that they do now have much. Therefore, she treats them as people who are not living a life as good as her, saying that they are “just a Cunningham.”

prejudice essays on to kill a mockingbird

This classism affects Walter Cunningham because since everybody treats him differently, he is often socially excluded. His social exclusion can be seen when he eats at the Finches’ house as he pours molasses all over his dinner, showing how he has clearly never been to someone else’s house, or invited to eat dinner. Walter Cunningham being socially excluded is because nobody wants to associate with him due to his different lifestyle. Another character that experiences prejudice is Scout Finch. Although Scout does not experience the same type of discrimination as Walter, she struggles with gender and age prejudice. Her own Aunt Alexandra continuously gives Scout prejudice in terms of her behavior as a girl. Aunt Alexandra expects Scout to be a stereotypical white Southern lady. However, Scout is the opposite as she is a tomboy. During one Christmas with the Finches, Aunt Alexandra tells Scout, “…[she] wasn’t supposed to be doing things that required pants.

Aunt Alexandra’s vision of my deportment involved playing with small stoves, tea sets…I should be a ray of sunshine in my father’s lonely life” (Lee 108). She is receiving prejudice from Aunt Alexandra because she is wanted to follow the typical white Southern lady stereotypes. However, when she does not follow them and has a different lifestyle, she receives harsh opinions for having her own ways, which is something Aunt Alexandra cannot understand, resulting in judgement. Scout is being condemned for being herself, which affects her as she does not understand why and is more confused and hurt to think that one of her family members does not accept her for the way she is. Not only does she receive sexism, but she also goes through ageism by her brother Jem. As Jem is growing older, he often perceives Scout as a younger, less intelligent sibling that does not understand concepts and ideas. Scout even narrates that Jem “…went so far as to tell me what to do. After one altercation when Jem hollered, ‘It’s time you started bein’ a girl and acting right!’” (Lee 153). She soon cried and ran away to Calpurnia, showing how much Jem’s ageism had negatively affected her. Scout does not understand why Jem is acting so mature now, and Jem had never mentioned anything about the way she acted, so to see him prejudice her emotionally taunts her.

A third character that suffers from a form of prejudice is Tom Robinson, a black man who goes through racial discrimination throughout the novel even to his death. During Tom’s testimony, Mr. Gilmer presents racial inequality and treats Tom with little to no respect, calling him “boy” and not taking anything he says seriously. Mr. Gilmer especially shows disrespect towards Tom when he asks him, “‘Are you being impudent to me, boy?’” (Lee 265). Not only does he not call Tom by his proper name, but he also thinks Tom is the one being rude to him due to the stereotype that colored men are not mannered. This prejudice no longer affects Tom as he is so used to the racism that he experiences from white Maycomb citizens, showing how much he suffers from it. Racial inequality is also shown by Scout when she tells Dill, “‘Well, Dill, after all he’s just a negro.’” (Lee 266). Scout considers Tom Robinson as a man who is inferior due to him being a black man. She does not feel as much sympathy for a black man as much as a white man, using “he’s just a negro” as an excuse, showing racial prejudice. This affects Tom Robinson’s life as barely any white people will support or believe him due to the racism of Maycomb citizens. This will result in the jurors favoring a white man’s word over a black man’s word, which will be a major factor of Tom Robinson’s death.

Walter Cunningham Jr., Scout Finch, and Tom Robinson all experience a form of prejudice, whether it’s social, gender, or racial. Almost all Maycomb citizens are guilty of prejudice or being a victim of it. Often times when people don’t understand one’s lifestyle, they turn it into some form of prejudice, which is presented repeatedly in To Kill a Mockingbird. Prejudice will always have a harmful effect on someone as they are being criticized by false beliefs and stereotypes, which is why one should always have opinions based on proven facts rather than preconceived information.

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In the world people are always preconceived based on who they are or what they look like. Even thought it isn’t as big of a problem in some areas as in others, we need to fight it. If we don’t then it will continue to get more serious and at times lead to death. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Alexandra tells her niece that she can’t play with a schoolmate simply because of his class.

“? You can scrub Walter Cunningham till he shines, you can put him in shoes and a new suit, but he’ll never be like Jem? Because? he? is? trash. ‘” (224). This prejudiced state of mind is the foundation for the plot events of the novel.

By way of experiences, a young girl, Scout Finch, must learn about the part prejudice plays in the everyday life of Maycomb County. Through settlement patterns, justice, and social stratification Harper Lee reveals the ways of prejudice.

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The first instance of prejudice, settlement patterns, greatly affects how people of Maycomb are prejudged, not just where they lived, but also where they dwelled. The Ewells are considered the lowest class of Maycomb, aside from the blacks, which is shown by the fact that they live at the edge of the town, right next to the black people.

“? He would show me how where and how they lived. They were people, but they lived like animals'” (30). The author describes where people live as a sort of divider among them, the Ewells not only live near the blacks, but also right next to the garbage dump.

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Not only was the location of one’s residency used to prejudice them, but also where they would dwell. The blacks’ church, as described by Scout, was, “unceiled and unpainted within? pine benches served as pews? there was no sign of piano, organ, hymn-books, church programs” (120).

Through her description of the church, Harper Lee allows you to know, without having to read any other section of the book, that the black people of Maycomb are of low class. The people of Maycomb are so prejudiced that they live in separate areas of the town from people who differ in social class. Furthermore, there are two types of justice in Maycomb. There is formal justice, what the court or law decides, and informal justice, the decisions, or “verdicts”, the people of Maycomb make about other people. Both are often tacitly bound by a mindset of prejudice.

When Jem is upset about the conviction of Tom Robinson, he asks his father how the jury could possibly do it, when he was obviously innocent. “? I don’t know, but they did it. They’ve done it before and they did it tonight and they’ll do it again and when they do it? seems that only the children weep'” (213). Atticus means that only children become upset over a black man being convicted simply because of his race. While the older people are so accustomed to it that it is not even unexpected, let alone unsurprising. Likewise, informal justice is very hard for Scout to understand.

She questions her father about why the Ewell children are allowed to skip school even though it is illegal. As Atticus explains it, “? Sometimes it’s better to bend the law a little in special cases” (30). People let the Ewells do what they want simply because they are Ewells. The people assume that none of them could ever become anything anyway, so why bother trying to force them to waste their time in school? The people made this “law,” and even though it is illegal, nobody fights it because there is an understanding about the Ewells. The people created laws, whether official or unofficial, that were based on prejudices.

Last, the largest factor affecting prejudice, is social stratification. The citizens of Maycomb are very quick to make conclusions on a person based on their social class. People are immediately judged based on whom their family is. “Aunt Alexandra was of the opinion that the longer a family had been squatting on one patch of land, the finer it was” (130). The personality of a person is already decided in the minds of many Maycomb citizens just by looking at what their family did in previous generations. In addition, if you are black, you are instantly considered trash and below everybody else.

“It was all over town this morning that you were in the Colored balcony. Wasn’t it right close up there with all those?? ” (214). This statement demonstrates how the people of Maycomb all assume that if you are black then you are lower than they are. The people of Maycomb County almost always jump to conclusions about people just because of who they are or their family is merely because they are so accustomed to it. Concluding, Harper Lee’s classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, uses many factors, including where people live, the justice system, and social stratification, as items of which her characters use for their prejudices.

Through these elements, the plot demonstrates how easy it is to prejudge somebody. While discussing why people fight so much, Jem wonders, “? Why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? ‘” (227). People fight because they are so vastly different. The answer to the fighting, which is found in this quote, is to stop judging each other on our differences and to start looking for our similarities. We need to all try a little harder to not prejudice different people if we are to achieve the goal of improvement in our lives.

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prejudice essays on to kill a mockingbird

Examples Of Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

Examples of human inequality in to kill a mockingbird.

it shows the problems and occurrences of how human inequality and diversity is brought up in the world. Racial comments, prejudice remarks, and judgement are all mentioned in the book. Although, the book is fiction, it brings up real life events that are still happening in the present time. The story takes place in Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930’s in that time anyone and everyone were judged by their life choices, skin color, social class, appearance, etc. Human society then was diverse into large groups of stereotypes.

How Does Harper Lee Use Irony In To Kill A Mockingbird

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses characterization, symbolism, and irony to express the cloud in judgment prejudice causes when examining the morals of others.

Bob Ewell Discrimination In To Kill A Mockingbird

Imagine living during a time where you would be discriminated against and divided just because the color of your skin. In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, a black man named Tom Robinson was falsely accused of having raped a white woman and was not given a fair trial. The towns hatred towards black people have caused a prejudice to occur against him. The jury was made up of only white males who are biased against black people due to this prejudice. Tom has good morals, is noble, and a good-hearted human being. In fact, he would help with chores for a woman named Mayella Ewell, who just so happens to be the person he was accused of raping. Her father, Bob Ewell, is abusive towards Mayella and is an awful person. He claims to have

To Kill A Mockingbird Prejudice

Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird has many examples of prejudice. The prejudice presented is against people such as Tom Robinson, Atticus Finch, and Boo Radley. Each is discriminated against either because of the color of their skin, who they represent in court, or just how much they isolate themselves from the town. Harper Lee’s stance on racial prejudice is that it is a foolish practice, no matter who does it. Prejudice is a very large part of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird Research Paper

Prejudice in the 1950s was a problem and it still is in 2017. When it comes to the topic of prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee conveys it is important that before judging someone, get to know them better.

Examples Of Social Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird

Social prejudice is shown throughout Harper Lee’s award winning book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee powerfully analyses the theme social prejudice, and its effect on people. Such as how the

Prejudice In Tom Robinson's To Kill A Mockingbird

How did prejudice happen in this world that God made? Prejudice is an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason. In this world, there are a lot of prejudice. Prejudice doesn´t happen suddenly but it happens from a root. Everything happens from a root and that causes to be or do something. For example, hatred comes from your feeling. Everything comes from a root and it is not possible to fix unless somebody takes an action in this world. In order to fight against prejudice, one needs to first see that the root of the problem is superiority, fear, and hatred, then work against it by staying positive, getting out of denial, and serving others.

To Kill A Mockingbird Pre-Judgment Character Analysis

Judgment, often defined as an opinion or a conclusion, is a relevant term throughout Harper Lee’s writings (Merriam Webster). As seen in To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman the relevance of judgment is evident through discrimination of individuals skin color. At first glance, an average reader might perceive the novel as a story of an unconventional upbringing. Although this reader is not completely mistaken, a key point is lost. This point is the theme of pre-judgment and its destructiveness. To Kill a Mockingbird portrays Atticus Finch as a rather fierce civil rights supporter, where as Go Set a Watchman depicts Atticus as a blatant racist. Although the novels do not go hand in hand, it is obvious to see how the society Atticus is placed in is intensely racist and prejudiced, inherently forcing preconceived notions upon him. The test to real character is whether or not a man can uphold his moral values in a society so small minded. Atticus Finch defies societal norms in the South in To Kill a Mockingbird when he resists backlash and defends a black man accused of raping a white woman. Contrastingly, Go Set a Watchman illustrates Atticus as an old white man who is part of various clubs against black civil rights. Reasoning for this comes from pre-judgment and its destructiveness to character. If Atticus had lived in civilization of equality and good will, much of his bigotry would be non existent in Go Set a Watchman. The point of prejudgment and its

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Who are the blue jays and mockingbirds of To Kill A Mockingbird? Set in the early 1930’s of America, Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is a coming-of-age book that tells the story of an innocent, naive child becoming an adult through the experience and intake of racism, discrimination, and social injustice throughout the book. Harper Lee’s development, usage and characterization of her characters throughout To Kill A Mockingbird help establish two of her most important themes of the book, which are the presence of social injustice and the coexistence of good and evil.

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In the 1930s, if a black man was on trial there was a ample chance he would be convicted even if evidence proved he was innocent. Throughout history humans being prejudice and bias have affected the lives of thousands of people; some ending with favorable outcomes while others weren’t so fortunate. Within the book To Kill a Mockingbird the readers learn that prejudice and bias people outnumber the understanding and kind. One decision or in this case twelve decisions decide the fate for an unfortunate man. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee reveals that people often follow their biases and prejudices rather than the truth.

Thesis Statement For To Kill A Mockingbird

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Stereotypes In To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

Life is like outer space, unknown and always changing. In the story To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee writes about the segregation, hate, and prejudice in a town called Maycomb. Tom Robinson, a black man, is accused of rape and doesn’t know what to expect. His attorney, Atticus Finch, an experienced, knowledgeable, and kind man, does his absolute best to defend him. However, the jury consists of all white males, most being racist and narrow-minded about the situation. Because of this, Tom Robinson is found guilty and later dies because of a mob, which displays the hatred and segregation that takes place in Maycomb.When stereotypes become embedded in the culture of a town like Maycomb, prejudice becomes more powerful than the truth, but through communication, empathy can be learned.

Thesis Statement For To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

Thesis Statement/opening paragraph: In the story To Kill A Mockingbird, discrimination and the act of being prejudice is common among the main characters, on both the receiving and serving end. Certain characters, like Scout and Jeremy Finch, Bob Ewell, and the town folk truly create the main problem and set the theme of the story. For example, when Bob Ewell accuses Atticus Finch of being an african-american lover, because he is defending Tom Robinson. Tom Robinson was accused of raping Mayella Ewell, according to Bob. Boo Radley is accused of being dead by Scout, Jem and Dill. In this essay, I will tell you the biggest people affected by discrimination and the act of prejudice.

Examples Of Being Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird

In To Kill A Mockingbird there are many example of individuals being prejudice. People being prejudice has been around for centuries and has not exactly went away. In this essay i will being showing you examples of people being prejudiced in To Kill A Mockingbird. There are many examples but i’m only going to go over a few of them.

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To kill a mockingbird - prejudice.

            In the novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, an interesting idea is prejudice. This idea is portrayed in many aspects of the novel, and is directed towards both groups and individuals in the Maycomb community. Prejudice is linked with the ideas of fear, superstition and injustice. It is important because we can see how it affected people. .              Prejudice is said to be "Maycomb's usual disease". Racial prejudice cost an innocent black man, Tom Robsinson's, life, as he has been found guilty without justice. "In our courts when it's a white man's word against a black man's, the white man always wins. They"re ugly, but those are the facts of life." This interacts with another idea of injustice. Also, the night before the trial, the lynch mob arrives at the jail like a "Roman Carnival", to "watch a poor devil on trial for his life". This clearly showed how those white men have no respect for Tom as they treat the trial like a "show". Furthermore, we can sense the ugliness in the racial tension and prejudice which threatens Tom's safety even before he comes to trial.              Prejudice is also shown towards individual characters in the novel who do not fit into the expected behavioural patterns of society and about whom little is known. Atticus Finch, Boo Radley, Dolphus Raymond and Tom Robinson are all victims of this kind of prejudice. Tom "felt sorry" for a white girl, and "Atticus aimed to defend" a black man. That's what (the society) don"t like about it. Mr Raymond is a white man who dislikes the idea of prejudice and would prefer to live among the blacks. He reveals his secret of pretending to be a drunkard to the children because he respects their innocence. He believe that they might understand as they have not yet caught "Maycomb's usual disease." Boo Radley has been misjudged by others because he never comes out of his house and so little of him was known. The rumours and superstitious views of ghosts, stories the children have heard, increase their fear of Boo Radley.

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1. to kill a mockingbird essay.

prejudice essays on to kill a mockingbird

Mockingbird Characters Nelle Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926, in Monroeville, Alabama, a small town similar to Maycomb, the setting of To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee began writing To Kill A Mockingbird in the mid-1950's, and she completed the novel in 1957. ... Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit "em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." ... (Lee, 90) Thus, the book depicts childhood innocence, moral condemnation of racial prejudice, and affirms that human goodness can withstand the assault of evil by the use of "mockingbird" characters, Jem, Tom Robins...

2. To Kill a Mockingbird

prejudice essays on to kill a mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird deals with Southern life during the 1930 "s. ... That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."... Bob Ewell is the blue jay of Harper Lee's, To Kill A Mockingbird while Tom is innocent and faulty accused, he is not. ... Throughout Harper Lee's, To Kill A Mockingbird Atticus is the voice of reason. ... Atticus kills the dog, like he kills the racism and prejudice, not letting it spread to his children. ...

3. To Kill a Mockingbird

prejudice essays on to kill a mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbirn by Harper Lee The title of the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, has very little actual relation to the plot of the story, however, it carries a significant amount of symbolic weight in the book. ... Thus, "To Kill a Mockingbird" is to destroy innocence. ... The symbol of a "Mockingbird" is used as a metaphor for the good and innocent, such as Boo Radley and Tom Robinson, who are as a result of the evil encountered in the prejudice people of Maycomb County, destroyed. The novel suggests that "It is a sin to kill a mockingbird", sin being something that is...

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prejudice essays on to kill a mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird In the book "To Kill a Mockingbird," one person prejudice at first was Scout Finch. Her prejudice thoughts were instilled in her mind by neighbors and her brother, Jem. She was prejudice of a neighbor named "Boo" Radley in quite a few ways. ... First, Scout wasn't always prejudice of "Boo" Radley. ... Jem tried to fight the stalking man, failed, and was thrown to the ground and just before the man was about kill Scout, "Boo" started to fight the man. ...

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prejudice essays on to kill a mockingbird

"To Kill a Mockingbird" is set in the 1930's in the little rural county of Maycomb where Atticus Finch and his two children, Jem and Scout live, during a time of racial discrimination. ... Harper Lee's message about fairness in To Kill a Mockingbird is that societies views and actions towards a person, are based on their skin color, who they are, and their personal image. ... The theme of fairness in To Kill a Mockingbird broadens to a further extent than just the situation of racial discrimination between the blacks and the whites. ... These blameless individuals were referred to as...

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Harper Lee's critically acclaimed novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, looks deeply into the beliefs and opinions of the characters and further analyzes the prejudice, racial stigma, and social barrier that took place. ... Atticus tells the kids "it is a sin to kill a mockingbird" because "they don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy" (Lee 119). ... Throughout Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus Finch, Tom Robinson, and Boo Radley emerge as mockingbirds, symbolizing the prejudice and discrimination of Maycomb County. ... Yet, he was accused, beaten...

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In To Kill A Mockingbird, there are many instances of prejudice. This prejudice determines the lives of many and the death of one. Some of these instances are when Tom Robinson is shot and killed, when Bob Ewell's lawyer accuses Tom Robinson of an ulterior motive when helping Mayella Ewell, and when the town does not see anything wrong with Calpurnia caring for Jem and Scout Finch. ... This is a prejudice because it is racism in that Calpurnia is not a slave, but she is seen as one. ... In all, there was much prejudice, indignity, obstruction of justice, and racism ...

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Prejudices in To Kill A Mockingbird " As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it "whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash." This was said by Atticus Finch in the book, To Kill A Mockingbird. Children in this book were exposed to the prejudices of every day life. ... Prejudice isn't just based on the color of a mans skin. ... Children in the book are desensitized by the prejudice...

9. To Kill A Mockingbird

It took her two and a half years and the help of her editor, Tay Hohoff, to re-write the novel and finalize To Kill A Mockingbird. ... Examples of this prejudice are repeatedly displayed in Harper Lee's novel To Kill A Mockingbird. ... Symbols played an important role in To Kill A Mockingbird. ... That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."... Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird should most definitely be included among a list of works of high literary merit. ...

10. To Kill A Mockingbird

prejudice essays on to kill a mockingbird

Many trials became famous and turned into stories and books because of the prejudice against blacks. ... In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee shows how prejudice and racism affected black people. ... Aunt Alexandria shows prejudice against Calpurnia because of her being black. ... That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird... Prejudice and racism made it hard for many blacks to live a normal life during the depression. ...

Racial Prejudice in Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” Essay


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Talking about southern America inevitably leads one to a topic of discussion that has been as divisive as religion – racism. There have been countless books, paintings, films and a lot more that have depicted racism in all its forms. In spite of all these depictions, the specter of racial discrimination and prejudice that existed in the southern states has left deep scars on the psyche of the people of America. Paul Lawrence Dunbar in his poem, “Sympathy” (Dunbar, 1899) has vividly portrayed the pangs of a caged bird and likens it to the collective pain that colored people have felt like victims of racial prejudices. “And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars And they pulse again with a keener sting– I know why he beats his wing!”

To list the causes of racism, it is necessary to go back to the historical background of the states and the economic clime of the times in which slavery and racial prejudice were at their zenith. It was a common practice for white people to have colored folks working in their fields and homes. It was also common for these colored people to accept their fate of subjugation. “… one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. The history of the American Negro is the story of this strife, …” (DuBois, 1994). Though they were aware of the injustices meted out to them, it took a lot of courage and temerity to stand up and fight for their fundamental rights. A close look at the existence of black folks will reveal that there was a certain resignation to their fate which caused them to be even more submissive. It also needs to be pointed out here that the white folk felt a great deal of superiority, whether or not they were economically well off. It was also widely believed that a colored person was more likely to commit crime (of all sorts) than a white person. Harper Lee’s book, To Kill a Mockingbird, has several instances of mistreatment and exploitation. On the one hand you have the misplaced high-and-mighty attitude of economically underprivileged white folks who feel they are privileged only because of the color of their skin. They are unable to understand that they are in no way better than the colored folks who eke out a living on a seamy side of town. There are those who believe that a crime like rape can be committed only by a black man and that there can be no way to establish his innocence, however hard his lawyer might try. There is hurt and resentment in the Finch children who are subjected to taunts and barbs, merely because their father chooses to represent a black man, wrongly accused of raping a white woman. This is an indication that racism affects whole communities which comprise both black and white people – a situation similar to the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God (Hurston, 2002). The intensity of hatred that people harbor towards one another, based on the color of the person’s skin is yet another offshoot of racial prejudice that tends to engulf the whole village and leave people sharply divided on the subject of whether or not a black man should be defended by a white man. The hatred is evidenced by the fact that the father of the so-called rape victim turns his ire towards the children of Atticus Finch, the man who has stood up to defend the fundamental rights of a wronged man. The black man’s envy of the white man’s ability to move forward in life is akin to the feelings of Booker T. Washington, as expressed in his autobiography (Washington, 1986). The flaws in the legal system and the eventual decision of the jury are clear indications that justice is not on their minds. They are unable to stand up for justice and succumb to the racial prejudices that prevail around them. This leads to a breakdown of justice and the unnecessary killing of an innocent man. In spite of the best efforts of Atticus Finch, the jury is unable to accept the fact that the rape victim could actually be the perpetrator. They are of the opinion that the accused is guilty, merely because of the color of his skin. Though they (the jury) have the freedom to endorse right and condone wrong, they do not use this freedom justly, because they do not want to take responsibilities that might have further repercussions. “Freedom carries an awesome responsibility.” (Hughes, 2000)

Surrounded by the turbulence that characterized the lives of black and white people in the little town in which Atticus Finch lived with his children, it is difficult to believe that justice would be delivered without a hitch. Desperate attempts are made to right a wrong, but it is to no avail. The color of a man’s skin has sealed his fate. The Finch children try to make sense of the animosity that people feel towards each other, only because of their color. As children, they realize that it hurts to be different. The family of the man who was accused of a crime he did not commit is left to ponder over the injustice meted out to them. Though they know that by having a white man to argue their case, they have won a battle, they are still unable to come to terms with their loss. This is reminiscent of the anguish described by DuBois, “Doth not this justice of hell stink in Thy nostrils, O God? How long shall the mounting flood of innocent blood roar in Thine ears and pound in our hearts for vengeance?” (DuBois, 1999). One can only hope and pray that instances of such injustice decline into non-existence as more and more people understand the fact that color is just skin-deep.

Dunbar, P.L. Sympathy published in Lyrics of the Hearthside . Dodd, Mead & Co. 1899. Du Bois, W.E.B. The Souls of Black Folk. Courier Dover Publications. 1994. p. 2. Du Bois, W.E.B. Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil. 1999. p. 15. Hughes, D.P. Wake up and smell the dollars! Whose inner city is this anyway. Amber Books Publishing. 2000. Hurston, Z. N. Their Eyes Were Watching God. Spark Publishing Group. 2002. p. 18. Washington, B.T. & Harlan, L.R. Up from slavery: An Autobiography. Penguin Classics. 1986. p. 39.

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IvyPanda . "Racial Prejudice in Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”." October 30, 2021.

IvyPanda . 2021. "Racial Prejudice in Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”." October 30, 2021.

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prejudice essays on to kill a mockingbird

Prejudice in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Prejudice in To Kill A Mockingbird Prejudice is a strong word. In the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, a black man, Tom Robinson, was accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell, and was brought to trial. There were distinct views concerning Tom Robinson's innocence – views influenced by prejudice . The townspeople of Maycomb believed in Tom's guilt while Atticus and the children believed in Tom's innocence. The townspeople, from day one, knew what the verdict was going to be even though some of them knew deep down that Tom did not rape Mayella. "The older citizens, the present generation of people who had lived side by side for years and years, were utterly predictable to one another: they took for granted attitudes, character shadings, even gestures, as having been repeated in each generation and refined by time" (Lee page #). The townspeople didn't like black people at all. They were two different kinds of people according to them, and the fact that a white man would stand up for a black man in that town got them very upset. "Yeah, but Atticus aims to defend him. That's what I don't like about it" (Lee page #). The townspeople viewed this case as a circus. "It was a gala occasion. There was no room at the public hitching trail for another animal, mules and wagons were parked under every available tree. The courthouse square was covered with picnic parties sitting on newspapers, washing down biscuit and syrup with warm milk from fruit jars" (Lee page #). This was more like entertainment for the townspeople. This was fun for them, talking with friends, having lunch, and joking. It was really sad that they were so prejudiced against the black people. Atticus was unable to bring about a just verdict because he was in a very prejudiced court and, regardless of the proof, the outcome would still be the same. Atticus knew that Tom Robinson would be found guilty. The victim, Mayella, had been beaten, but not by Tom. Tom Robinson would still be convicted because of the all-white jury. Tom didn't help by saying, "Yes suh. I felt sorry for her, she seemed to try more'n the rest of 'em--" (Lee page #). After all, black people were not supposed to care about white people. It would have been impossible for Tom to do to Mayella what she said he did: "Tom Robinson's powerful shoulders rippled with his right hand on the back of his chair.

In this essay, the author

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