Essay on The Theme of Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Essay on The Theme of Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee Show how the theme of prejudice is
explored through the Characters of Boo, Atticus and Scout.

"Show how the theme of prejudice is explored through the Characters of
Boo, Atticus and Scout."

In the following essay I am going to show how the theme of prejudice
is explored through the Characters of Boo, Atticus and Scout.

Prejudice in the novel is directed towards groups as well as individuals.

As the novel progresses, the children's changing attitude toward Boo
Radley is an important measurement of their development from innocence
toward a grown-up moral perspective. At the beginning of the book, Boo
is merely a source of childhood superstition. For Scout and Jem, their
source of adventure was Boo Radley. Boo Radley was the legend of
Maycomb. Scout illustrates the legend of Boo when she explains,
"Inside the house live a malevolent phantom, People said he existed,
but Jem and I had never seen him." In a way, Boo is like ghost,
everyone knows he exists, but no one had ever seen him. All it needed
was a few curious children to reveal the life of this mystery man, and
expose his real true personality. Boo's life had been ruined by
prejudice - the rumours about him. The stories circulating about Boo
kept him away from all the other people, when really, Boo was not
malevolent. In reality, he was just a shy, middle aged man who was
ostracized by the world for his differences. As he leaves Jem and
Scout presents and mends Jems trousers, he gradually becomes
increasingly and intriguingly real to them. At the end of the novel,
he becomes fully human to Scout, illustrating that she has developed
into a sympathetic and understanding individual.

One day, after much thought,...

... middle of paper ...

...vely well-off Finches stand near the top of Maycombs social
hierarchy, with most of the townspeople beneath them. Ignorant country
farmers like the Cunningham's lie below the townspeople, and the
"White Trash" Ewells rest below the Cunningham's. The black community
in Maycomb, despite its abundance of admirable qualities, squats below
even the Ewells, enabling Bob Ewell to make up for his own lack of
importance by persecuting Tom Robinson.

These rigid social divisions that make up so much of the adult world
are revealed in the book to be both irrational and destructive. For
example, Scout cannot understand why Aunt Alexandra refuses to let her
consort with young Walter Cunningham.

Harper Lee uses the children's perplexity at the unpleasant layering
of Maycomb society to critique the role of class status and,
ultimately, prejudice in human interaction.

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