Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

819 words - 3 pages

The Road to Prejudicial Acceptance
Scout's perception of prejudice is evolved through countless experiences in Harper Lee's, To Kill a Mockingbird. Written in the nineteen thirties, To Kill a Mockingbird promotes the understanding of self-discovery through Scout, an intelligent and outspoken child living with respectable family in Maycomb County, Alabama. Throughout various encounters in the novel, Harper Lee causes Scout's perspective to change and develop from innocence to awareness and eventually towards understanding.
Harper Lee introduces Scout as an insensible tomboy caught in the midst of contrite prejudicial conception. She has not yet discovered what is right and wrong due to various misconceptions that the people of Maycomb influence her with. ?Don?t say nigger, Scout. That?s common? (75). This particular quote is said by Atticus, Scout?s father, while referring to Scout?s racial ignorance towards African Americans. This quote portrays her social standing at the beginning of the novel as she tends to act ignorant by speaking with rude racial terms. ?Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don't pretend to understand? I just hope that Jem and Scout come to me for their answers instead of listening to the town. I hope they trust me enough?? (92). This quote expressed by Atticus describes Scout?s mental and emotional state near the dawning of the novel. Scout is given influential lessons through the form of words on what to think therefore she is misguided by false pretenses. These ?pretenses? may be misleading, consequently Scout is basing her beliefs about prejudice on the conceptions of others instead of what Scout truly believes. Although Scout?s perspective starts as childish innocence it soon develops in order to become aware of the racial judgments she is exposed to.
As Scout begins to consider people?s opinions about prejudicial behavior she soon feels obligated to understand these racial judgments. Scout, being the curious and forthright girl she is, feels that only way to do so is by interrogating these estimations. ?As Atticus had once advised me to do, I tried to climb into Jem?s skin and walk around in it? (57). At this specific point in the novel, it is clear that Scout has learned a valuable lesson. The social lesson accomplished is never to judge anyone before determining their past experiences or hardships. Not only Scout?s social well-being, but her mental and emotional...

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