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The Theme of Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

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The Theme of Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird

‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ teaches us about the deceit and prejudice
amongst the residents of Maycomb County, all of whom have very
contrasting and conflicting views. We are told the story through the
eyes of little girl, Scout, and the day-to-day prejudices she faces
amongst society. Her father, Atticus, is a white man defending a
Negro, even though the town frowns upon such a thing. He is trying to
bring order to the socially segregating views, both within the court
and out.

The most common form of prejudice, which is seen many times throughout
the novel, is racism. The white folk of Maycomb County feel they have
a higher status in society than the black community, and that the
Negroes are there simply to be controlled by the whites. The views of
a Negro do not matter; they are worthless to a white person. They are
seen as dirty and ‘beneath’ a white. This is true even in extreme
cases such as the Ewells being compared to the black community. Even
though the Ewells are seen as low class, shabby and disliked, they are
still given a higher status than any Negro. You find out the position
of the Ewells quite early on in the book, after Scout meets the
youngest child of the family, Burris. Atticus tells Scout “…the Ewells
had been the disgrace of Maycomb for three generations. None of them
had done an honest day’s work”. This statement from Atticus gives us
another form of prejudice; class. By saying that they are a disgrace
and have never done a days work, degrades them and thus makes them
sound lower class, which essentially they are. This topic is raised a
few times in the book, but fundamentally with the same view. The Ewell
children however are treated...


... middle of paper ...


...t the verdict will be guilty. Tom Robinson
has been discriminated by a biased community, a community of Negro
haters. Tom is found guilty, even though the evidence given proves him
to be innocent. Tom was never given a fair chance in the trial. The
guilty verdict is the result of a racist community.

As I have said, prejudice is a key factor in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.
It sets storylines, gives people different opinions and makes people
biased towards different issues. It just shows how life was in the
1930’s, and the way that race, sex, class and religious prejudice has
changed over the years. People were scared to voice their opinions,
afraid of what the community might say if they did. If this had been
changed and people weren’t so biased that maybe that innocent man
would have lived, and people would not have been so discriminative to
one another.


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