The Different Types Of Prejudice Depicted In Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

2219 words - 9 pages

The theme of prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird broadens to a further extent than just the situation of racial discrepancy between the blacks and the whites. Although, the racial discrimination mainly towards the blacks is the most prominent occurrence of injustice at Harper Lee’s time- the early Twentieth century, the whole novel includes several, other forms of prejudice that portray the unfavourable effects that was endured by innocent people. These blameless individuals were referred to mockingbirds, since it was a sin to kill one as said by Atticus, “Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” So, therefore mockingbirds are a representation of the main events that occurred during Harper Lee’s life such as having African Americans taking away their life due to the colour of their skin.

Harper Lee classifies the historical background of the 1930s current events which was exposed deeply, compared to the situations of the time the book was published, in the 1960s. She exemplifies these means of narrow-mindedness by building awareness of the partiality and segregation between the blacks and the whites. Racism is very common throughout the entire novel. A clear example of discrimination in the fictitious town, Maycomb County is, during Tom Robinson’s trial. Tom was a black man, who was accused of raping a white woman- Mayella Ewell; he committed a crime that would lead to a punishment of: death penalty. Regardless of the fact that there was coherent evidence to prove his innocence, he was still found guilty by the jury’s verdict.
After being convicted, in spite of everything; he was shot when he tried to be free from the inequity. This elucidates how Maycomb’s necessity of justice had caused an innocent man to sacrifice his life; since, the justice system didn’t acquire a fair trial for him, as a result of the colour of his skin. They chose to ignore his standing and only focused on his ethnicity. However, Harper Lee maintains her optimism in Atticus Finch as he tells Calpurnia; “They shot him…seventeen bullet holes in him”. The white residents in Maycomb County felt that they had higher status and authority in society than the black population; they believed that blacks were to be subdued by the whites. The beliefs of a Negro were not considered, as they were known to be valueless, immoral beings. The vast degree of unfairness within the town of Maycomb in the depression era, 1930’s, gives the reader the impression to suggest that it is practically unattainable to annihilate the issue.
However, another way Harper Lee represents buoyancy is by having trust through Atticus, during the trial of Tom Robinson; he persuaded a number of people of Tom Robinson’s innocence single-handedly. Also, Atticus mentioned important truthful facts that questioned not only people’s minds, regarding prejudice, but their hearts as well. This shows an unambiguous message that the verdict,...

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