Courage Against Social Prejudice Essay

1097 words - 4 pages

During the 1930’s, there was a significant amount of racial inequality in the South. Black people were considered unequal compared to white people resulting in mistreatment and abuse. Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, displays her opinion about social inequality through a variety of different characters who exhibit courage through everyday life. In Lee’s novel, one character, Mrs. Maudie who is a friend to Jem and Scout explains the meaning of a mockingbird as the following: “they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us” (Lee, 1960, p.90). These characters, such as the Finch family, although quite different in their lifestyles, go against the social norm of treating African Americans as second class citizens. Harper Lee uses the symbol of a mockingbird in the 1930’s to exemplify the courage of a common lawyer and his fight against social prejudice in order to change society.
Atticus Finch believes in the equality and justice of all people no matter their color or family background. Atticus lives in Maycomb, Alabama, along with his children, Jem and Scout. Atticus is the county lawyer and was assigned by Judge Taylor to defend Tom Robinson who was accused of raping Mayella Ewell (Lee, 1960, p.163). Steven Lubert who wrote Reconstructing Atticus Finch says that “Atticus Finch saves us by providing a moral archetype, by reflecting nobility upon us, and by having the courage to meet the standards that we set for ourselves but can seldom attain.” (p. 1340). Atticus is a courageous character who displays the characteristic of morality and stands up for people who are considered second class. Atticus knows that he will be defeated in court, but tries anyway since it is the right thing to do.

Atticus fights hard in court and gives the readers a firm example of how to treat the stereotypical thought of black people. Atticus fights hard, and shows the town what true courage is and how to fight against social prejudice.
Harper Lee develops throughout her novel the meaning of the mockingbird through two individual characters that are looked down upon by others in everyday reality. Tom Robinson is an honest man black man who works hard to support his family (Lee, 1960, p.197). Tom was accused of raping and beating Mayela Ewell, a white woman (Lee, 1960, p.123). Mayela Ewell was the daughter of Bob Ewell; they were quite poor because her father failed to do the duties that a good father should do. They were considered to be white trash of their society. Although there was little proof of this accusation, most people believed in the raping because of their stereotypical thought of black people in that era. This shows the value of black people because although being the white trash of the society, most people stood up for her.
Arthur Radley, commonly known as Boo, exemplifies a mockingbird in how he finally emerges from his reclusiveness and saves Jem and Scout. Boo is an odd recluse who stabbed his father as a young boy...

Find Another Essay On Courage Against Social Prejudice

Courage Demonstrated by Atticus, Boo and Scout in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

632 words - 3 pages “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, is a moving story about courage set against the prejudice in a small, Alabama town. Atticus tells his children that courage is standing up for what you believe in, even if you know you will lose. Atticus, Boo, and Scout show courage through standing up for what they believe in, even if they might lose by doing so. When Atticus chooses to defend Tom Robinson, he knows he will most likely lose the first

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

2186 words - 9 pages the need for education to his children and also to the people of Maycomb during the trial of Tom Robinson. The theme of courage is also an important part of this novel. The children learn from Atticus and Mrs. Dubose that courage and strength are not necessarily physical, but actually they are present in the hearts and minds of people. The theme of prejudice is present throughout the novel in the first part against Boo Radley and in the second part in the form of racism against Tom Robinson. The understanding of prejudice helps the children change from childhood innocence to a point of maturity and acceptance of people who are different from them.

The Role of Courage in To Kill a Mockingbird

580 words - 2 pages Mrs Dubose showed real courage in trying to get rid of her addiction and also what courage is, this shows that courage is not a guy with power but a person like Mrs Dubose who takes up courage to correct her life even though she knows she’s going to die soon. Boo Radley’s most courageous act was when he saved the two children Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell. His courage overrode the towns prejudice against him and that he might die while saving the

The Difference between Prejudices and Stereotypes

732 words - 3 pages Prejudice can be described as an opinion formed against a person or group based on a stereotype (Prejudice). While stereotypes are classified as generalizations about a group of people where we attribute a specific set of characteristics to this group. These characteristics or opinions can be positive or negative, such as when various nationalities are stereotyped as friendly or unfriendly (Lippmann, 1922). To learn about predudice, you must

Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

618 words - 2 pages vision not clouded by prejudice. Harper Lee chooses to demonstrate prejudice often throughout this book and in some of those instances she shows it being overcome. The book illustrates many ways of how people can look through a frosted window and not see a clear picture of the world. Instead their view is clouded by prejudice against others because of social standing and race. She also shows the efforts of people like Atticus and the

To Kill a Mockingbird Themes

906 words - 4 pages Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The American dream is to live free and racism stops that for African Americans. Three main themes in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee are prejudice and tolerance, knowledge and ignorance, and courage and cowardice. In To Kill a Mockingbird, prejudice and tolerance is a prime theme. In the 1950s, African Americans is forced to sit in the back of the bus, is not allowed to serve on the jury; nor could they sit

Stereotyping is Helpful, Prejudice is Harmful. Critical Discussion in Regard to Aborigines

1362 words - 5 pages see both the positives and negatives of stereotypes, and how helpful they are in information processing.Prejudice and discrimination against Australian Aborigines has been, and continues to be a major social problem in Australia. A study has distinguished between two kinds of prejudice, "Old fashioned" prejudice and "Modern" prejudice. (Pedersen, A., & Walker, I., 1997) "Old fashioned" prejudice is shown by blatant hostility and rejection

To Kill A Mocking Bird

953 words - 4 pages through.? This quote showed us the courage in Atticus for defending a black man even though he knew the whole of Maycomb would be against him. This is the only strand of hope in the novel, but is overrun by all the prejudice. The way Atticus was overrun by all the prejudice, shows that society doesn?t like different people. Bob Ewell?s act of revenge towards Atticus, and all the negative comments such as ? nigger lover? that his children received, also

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - discusses the characters fear in making decisions.

969 words - 4 pages offers, as she believes "Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance".The marriage and money theme operates in a baffling way when Elizabeth herself comes to marry. When she sees Pemberly, her 'prejudice' against Darcy begins to be 'subdued' and later by accepting him she makes the most glorious match of and of Austen's heroines. The fact that Darcy has then thousand pounds a year is not to be ignored; it emphasizes the perfect

Predjudice in to kill a mockingbird

1331 words - 5 pages house burnt down; Link Deas speaking out for the Robinsons.Real courage: Mrs Dubose fighting the losing battle with her addiction but still carrying on; Fighting evil and prejudice by an act of bravery, eg.Mr Underwood´s article about TomBoo rescuing the childrenAtticus represents Tom even though success is unlikely (real courage) and he makes a stand against racial prejudice in the community (courageous act).

Prejudice In Maycomb. Speaks of "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

623 words - 2 pages prejudice is, using from Atticus standpoint to an Tom Robinson and BooRadley standpoint. Tom and Boo are not given a chance. Tom died because he was not given achance, because of his skin color, and also because that he was prejudged. He was convictedguilty of murder, and ended up shot. Tom was a mockingbird though, because he showedintrepidity. Boo was not given a chance neither. Boo is hated for not coming out of his house, butBoo had the intrepidity to watch over his children and save their lives. Courage to help the"mockingbirds" is really what conquers prejudice.

Similar Essays

To Kill A Mockingbird Theme Of Courage

1953 words - 8 pages To Kill a Mockingbird is a book mainly about courage. Moreover, it contrasts and compares courage against many other themes in order to show the importance of courage. Throughout the book, Atticus, Jem, Scout, Tom and "Boo" Radley displayed courage. Courage shown by the aforementioned characters are contrasted and compared with the lack of education, fear and the prejudice of most of the Maycomb population. These comparisons exemplify the real

Prejudice Runs Deep In To Kill A Mockingbird

1672 words - 7 pages affectionate portrayal of Maycomb at the novel's opening, we will find it is a town where racial prejudice, hostility and ignorance run deep below the surface.  Not only are the majority of the townspeople prejudiced against blacks, maintaining a feeling of superiority to the whole of their race, but there are also well-defined social roles based on gender.  To Kill A Mockingbird reflects many themes, but three of the most significant ones are

Theme Of Courage In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

1796 words - 7 pages To Kill A Mockingbird is a book about courage to what extent do you agree with this? Harper Lee's first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, displays the life of a small southern family struggling through the depression in Maycomb, Alabama. Seen through the innocent eyes of a young child are the events and people of Maycomb. Courage is a major theme in the novel but there are other themes like the Hypocrisy, Protecting the innocent and Prejudice

Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

1045 words - 4 pages characters in the novel. He showed moral courage when he defended a black man who was falsely charged with the rape of a white woman. He stood up for his believes despite of what the people of Maycomb thought of him as a ¡°Nigger lover¡± and a disgrace to his family. Prejudice is a strong opinion an individual may possess for or against someone without knowing all the facts about them. It can be passed down from generation to generation. In