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Prejudice in Maycomb in the 1930's in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Prejudice in Maycomb in the 1930's in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


The prominent theme of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird is the portrait
of prejudice, in a small southern American town called Maycomb in the
1930’s.

Maycomb is believed to be a replica, of the town Monroeville where the
author Harper Lee grew up. Her knowledge of the society in Monroeville
(Maycomb) enables her to hit the reader with more impact; she can
portray her views on prejudice and discrimination with stronger force
and focus. She gives a realistic representation of people’s attitudes
in the Deep South in the 1930’s.

Slavery had been abolished in America after the civil war of 1861-5
this gave black people equal rights. But their freedom made life
harder for black people initially, white people (especially in the
south), found it hard to accept them as an equal in their society, so
they remained segregated.

This is shown in the novel, the black community has its own part of
the town, on the outskirts, near the town dump. Also they have their
own church, First Purchase African M.E. Church paid for from the first
earnings from freed slaves. ‘Negroes worshipped in it on Sundays and
white men gambled in it on weekdays’, this shows blatant disrespect
for the black community. This segregation is also evident in the
courthouse, white people sit in the courtroom, where as the coloured
people had to sit in the coloured balcony, they were only allowed to
enter the courtroom, when every white person had gone in and taken
their seats.

Being in the midst of the economic depression of 1929, poverty swept
the country, the white community saw black peop...


... middle of paper ...


...d of their traditions, but they don’t leave any room for
people to better themselves, once you are categorised that’s how you
are looked on. People know their place and their family history
dictates what they do. If your black your not to be trusted, if you’re
a farmer you are considered poor and a lower class of people. If you
live your life differently in any way you are looked on as a lesser
person.

Harper Lee tries to show the reader, we can all learn to combat
prejudice if we follow Atticus’s maxim. That if you attempt to stand
in another’s shoes or skin, you can learn to understand them, which
will lead to tolerance and hopefully no prejudice.

The title To Kill a Mockingbird sends a powerful message that is
echoed throughout the book that ‘it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird’,
which is a symbol of innocence.


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