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The Theme of Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird

Powerful Essays
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...

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...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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