Prejudice in To Kill A Mockingbird
Length: 777 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)
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Three students kicked out of a high school for threatening to bring a gun to school. Why would they? Because people were prejudice against them because other students thought they were “losers”. Moral: You shouldn’t not like a person because they aren’t like you. Prejudice was far much worse in the time period of To Kill A Mockingbird. But, Prejudice is the reason for much social injustice. Three characters named Nathan Radley, Atticus Finch, and Aunt Alexandria show us this in the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird.
Back in the time period of To Kill A Mockingbird, blacks were referred to as “niggers”, and blamed for most things, even when they were innocent. An example of this is when a character named Nathan Radley hears someone in his cabbage patches. He shot his gun in the air and when people asked what happen, he automatically told them it was a “nigger”.
Even though he didn’t see the person. But, he knew the person was white by this quote someone said he said. “Shot in the air. Scared him though, says if anyone sees a white “nigger” running around here that’s him” (54). Meaning that he knows the person is white. Another thing is that some people even put animals above blacks, as told in the rest of the quote. “Got the other barrel waitin’ for the next hears in his patch, be it dog, “nigger”, or Jem Finch (a character) (54). Now he must have known it was Jem, or why would he have said his name? This shows that Mr. Radley didn’t have any respect for blacks.
Not only were blacks referred to as “niggers” but, anyone associated with them, except for slave masters, were called, “nigger” lovers. An example of this is that a character named Atticus Finch is defending a black person named Tom Robinson in court. Because he is doing this, most people in town are calling him a “nigger” lover. Not only are the adults saying it, but their children are saying it too. Since Atticus is defending this man, he has also tried to been jumped many time also. But Atticus makes a very interesting point during the court case. “The witnesses for the state have presented themselves to you gentlemen, to this court, in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted. Confident that you gentlemen, would go along with them on one assumption, the evil assumption, that all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are immoral beings, that all Negroes are not to be trusted around our women, an assumption that of one mind of their caliber.
Which gentlemen, we know is in itself a lie as black as Tom Robinson’s skin, a lie that I don’t have to point out to you. You know the truth.
The truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men can’t be trusted around women, black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the Human race and to no particular race of men (217). This is the truth. Even though Atticus Finch is just doing his job, people don’t see it that way. All they see is a white man helping a black man, or a “nigger” lover.
Finally, there were the people who didn’t even want to be around blacks. An example of this is when Atticus’ sister Alexandria tells him he needs to get rid of Calpurnia, the black maid, because Alexandria thinks she is showing a bad influence on the children and she doesn’t want the around her. Even though Calpurnia is a good maid, Alexandria doesn’t care. As you tell by this quote, “… you’ve got to do something about her. You’ve let things go on too long”(136). (It says in the bok they are talking about Calpurnia).
This goes to prove that not only does she not want to be around blacks, she doesn’t want other people around them either. Even though Alexandria doesn’t call blacks “niggers” she still doesn’t want to associate with them. Another instance is when Calpurnia takes the kids to her church. Alexandria gets very angry with Calpurnia because she took them to be around so many blacks. Most of them were good people and the kids weren’t being bad. This goes to prove that people may think they’re better by not calling blacks “niggers”, but avoiding them is just as bad.
So thanks to the book of To Kill A Mockingbird, this proves that it’s not really the “prejudice that is responsible for much social injustice. It is the people that show that prejudice to other people that is responsible for much