Sexism, Prejudice, And Racism In Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird

2879 words - 12 pages

Throughout the book To Kill A Mockingbird Lee discusses the effects of ignorance and the toll it takes on people such as Tom Robinson, Boo Radley, Scout herself, and many more. Through her examples of sexism, prejudice, and racism, from the populist of poverty stricken Southerners, she shows the readers the injustice of many. The victims of ignorance are the ‘mockingbirds’ of the story. A good example of this injustice is the trial of Tom Robinson, who is falsely accused of raping a white girl and is found guilty. The book is from the point of view Scout, a child, who has an advantage over most kids due to her having a lawyer as a dad, to see the other side of the story. Her father tells her in the story, “you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.” (Lee 200).
The most apparent theme of discrimination in To Kill A Mockingbird is racism, however there is more than just that. Other types of discrimination exist in To Kill A Mockingbird such as prejudice towards women, sexism. For example, Scout says, “Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches; when I said I could do nothing in a dress, she said I wasn't supposed to be doing anything that required pants” (Lee 59).
This part of the book shows the views of how a woman should be and the importance of the female voice. The Pulitzer prize winning novel, published in 1960, To Kill A Mockingbird is written through the eyes of a young girl and follows her through the experience of childhood growing up in the racist, prejudice, and sexist south during the great depression. This serves as a platform for the guidance of her father, who she looks up too, to combat the judgment of others (Shakleford).
Both black men and women are not allowed on the ground floor and are restricted to the balcony. Also women as well as blacks do not serve on juries (Shakleford). This serves as an obvious visual example of the sexist ways of the south, at that time, making it comparable to the harsh racist views of the south. Another example is Aunt Alexandra’s presence and her code of organization and segregation of families according to status, ethnicity, and gender. The missionary ladies, like Aunt Alexandra, in general abide by the same rules of politeness. They believed on the surface fragrant women were to “rock slowly, fan gently, and drink cool water” (Johnson). To them women were to act as a clique, and if someone did not act a certain way they would be looked down upon for being different and cast as an exile. They also pride themselves on family values whereas at the heart of things have no family values at all, and they use it as a way to segregate people into groups (Johnson).
Alexandra maintains the stereotypical concept of what is the white southern feministic racist. All of the attributes sort of melt together and perpetuate one another. She retains her feministic way by getting Calpurnia, the black...

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