Inequality and Prejudice in Harper Lee's Novel To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

Inequality and Prejudice in Harper Lee's Novel To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

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How can the word “equality” be defined? Is there actually a definition which everyone can agree with? “The quality of being the same in quantity, measure, value, or status”; that is the explanation any dictionary may provide. The problem is, no one has the same way of applying this definition to the real life, and people have different perceptions of what equality really means. In Harper Lee’s novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, this idea of looking at equality from different points of view is one of the main themes and situations presented. Narrated by a young South American girl in the 1930’s, this book explores the several cases in which one can view the rest of the world as something beautiful, while others can opt to say it all looks dark and hateable. This innocent girl, Scout, faces many situations involving racism, classism, fear of the unknown and various types of prejudice which make a great impact on her life and teach the reader countless life-lessons.
This novel takes place on Maycomb, a quiet and conservative town in the south of the United States. Scout, the narrator, lives a simple yet prosperous life with her older brother, Jem, and her father, Atticus Finch. Throughout the book one can see that they are the most respectable and tolerant family in town, being that Atticus is constantly reminding his children to keep their morals and values with them at all times. The Finch’s refrain from judging and looking down on others, but their town is full of people who will speak their minds when they dislike someone for non-justifiable reasons. For example, the Cunninghams were a family known for their lack of money and, therefore, their poor manners. Walter, a young boy and one of the Cunningham’s, is invited to have lunch ...


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...lly, and they learn that their old opinions about him were simply based on ignorance and an ample fear of the unknown.
It is easy to understand why this novel has become a classic and a must-read for everyone around the world. Written and published in the 1960’s, society was still struggling with prejudice and discrimination, and this book caused a huge impact on the world’s perspective. Even today, “To Kill a Mockingbird” continues to impart valuable lessons to anyone who decides to wilfully read and understand it. Prejudice and inequality are both ideas imposed by ignorance and closed minds, and people need to become more understanding and tolerant of other ideas, races, religions, and ways of life; it is essential in order to achieve a world in which love, rather than hatred, drives us all to make a change.


Works Cited
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, 1960.

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