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Prejudice in To Kill A Mockingbird & Telephone Conversation Essay

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The dictionary defines prejudice as a learned, preformed, and unsubstantiated judgment or opinion about an individual or a group, either favorable or unfavorable in nature. Through the study of the book, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and the poem Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka, ones understanding of prejudice and what makes up prejudice changes considerably for what could be perceived as for the better or for the worse. Being ignorant of what is happening or not knowing and properly understanding what prejudice is can make it easy to turn a blind eye to what is happening around you. Learning what prejudice is makes one more conscious of what is happening right next to you in everyday life. Being educated about prejudice is one step closer to a more peaceful life but prejudice will likely never completely disappear, like George Aiken says, “If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other cause for prejudice by noon.” Ones perception of the concept of prejudice is primarily determined by the environment in which one grew up. As Sydney Smith said, “Never try to reason the prejudice out with a man. It was not reasoned into him, and therefore cannot be reasoned out.” It is evident that ones opinion of other people reflects back to the ethics that they were brought up with.
From the eyes of the young and innocent Jean Louise ‘Scout’ Finch, we follow the story of Arthur ‘Boo’ Radley and Tom Robinson in the deceivingly quaint town of Maycomb where these two innocent men’s lives are ruined by the evil of other men and women. The two men are the ‘mockingbirds’ of the story, good, innocent people, hurt by the injustice, hatred and prejudice of a small town...


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.... Red pillar-box. Red double-tiered Omnibus…” Like Tom Robinson in To Kill A Mockingbird, the West African man is unjustly discriminated against because of his race and the colour of his skin.
In comparing and analyzing these two texts, one gains a better understanding of the concept of prejudice. There is no logic or reasoning behind prejudice, which is why it is hard to stop it. We all like to think that one day the world will be free of prejudice and everyone will be considered equal and we hang on to that hope as in the words of Martin Luther King Jr, “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”


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