Theme Of Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Marissa Staring Carpenter English 11H 14 March 2017 Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee describes the fictional town of Maycomb County, Alabama through the eyes of a young child. Lee describes numerous accounts of prejudice throughout the entire piece, which is set in the 1930's when this topic was prevalent. Prejudice can be defined in the novel as "the simple hell people give other people without even thinking". Although the majority of discrimination was pointed towards blacks, other accounts towards whites were present, though not as common. Harper Lee develops the theme of prejudice throughout the novel through the interactions of her characters, and as a result, she expresses the racial, social,…show more content…
While Cal is treated fairly by the Finches, in a social setting she is considered to be on a lower level. This example is demonstrated when Cal refers to Jem and Scout as ma'am and sir, which are usually used when referring to an elder. The most prominent example of racial discrimination, however, is Tom Robinson. Tom Robinson is discriminated by the entire town, except Atticus, for allegedly raping a white woman. Although all the evidence points to Tom's innocence, he reaps the punishment for the crime because of his race. Tom then attempted to escape jail where he was shot seventeen times by the guards. Lee writes, "Seventeen bullet holes in him. They didn't have to shoot him that much"(Lee 239). Tom tried to escape for fear that he would not receive a fair appeal much like the trial, out of prejudice from an all white jury. Prejudice is also represented when the guards shoot Tom an excessive amount of times as they did not feel sympathy for him because he was a black inmate. Maycomb County in the 1930's contains different social classes similar to that of the present…show more content…
Scout associates women with frilly dresses and remaining silent in the background. She also believes that playing games and talking dirty should be left for boys and Aunt Alexandra, a feminine influence for Scout, offers her advice to help Scout shift from being a tomboy to a woman. The prejudice between genders is also depicted when Lee tells of Scout and Jem's varying educations. Lee claims, "I always thought Maycomb folks were the best folks in the world, least that's what they seemed like"(Lee 219). In this quote, Jem's maturity and higher level education is visible. Jem begins to understand discrimination, its severity, and he is forced to accept the injustices in Maycomb while Scout can not grasp the idea in its full

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