The Issue Of Predjudice In "To Kill A Mockingbird" By Harper Lee

1596 words - 6 pages

OUTLINEI. Introduction: Thesis statementII. Central ThemesA. Part one, Boo's StoryB. Part two, Tom Robinson's storyIV. Change in ChildrenA. What children thought at firstB. How they changedC. Feelings after the changeV. Historical Content; backgroundA. time place, relevance to storyB. relation to Scottsboro trialsVII. ConclusionIn this paper I intend to explore one of the main themes of Harper Lee'sTo Kill A Mockingbird, the issue of prejudice. I intend to explore how the childrenchange through out the novel and the novel relevance to the time and place it waswritten, in other words, the historical content.Prejudice is defined in Comprehensive Desk Dictionary by Thorndike Barnhart asan 'opinion formed without taking the time and care to judge fairly'. The main focus of part one is Boo Radley. Boo was considered to be an outcast by many of the people in Maycomb. He never came outside, except for two occasions in the book. The first time Boo comes out is when a fire breaks out at Miss Maudies, and Scout is standing outside in the cold. Boo wraps a blanket around her, without her knowing that he did. The other time didn't happen until part two, when Jem and Scout are attacked by Bob Ewell. People were prejudiced against Boo because he is different. The children had not seen him so they made up stories about him (Johnson,1). They were afraid of him. They didn't realize it was Boo leaving the gifts and wanted to be friendly. In part two the main focus is on Tom Robinson. He is a black man accused of raping white woman. The prejudice in this part of the novel is called racism. The opinion formed because of the color if Tom's skin. Racism was very common in the south at this period in American history. African Americans were treated differently than whites. They were not allowed to use the same water fountains, or sit next to each other on the bus or in restaurants. The blacks had their own section of town (Johnson,1). According to Maycomb society, there should be no mixing of the races. Aunt Alexandra did not want Scout and Jem to go to the Negro church or to go to Calpurnia's home. The 'whites' felt they could not take Tom's side against a white woman. The white townspeople even showed Atticus that they didn't want him defending Tom. They sent this message to him on his lawn in front of his house and then again at the jail. They did not want Atticus to defend a black man against a white woman. Tom was accused of raping Mayella Ewell, Bob Ewell's daughter. Atticus was his attorney, and went through a lot of pressure and put a lot on his children, hearing their father being called a 'nigger-lover' for defending Tom (Johnson, 2). People said that Atticus was a 'nigger-lover' because he was going to defend Tom to the best of his abilities. Tom was convicted even though the evidence stated, should of got him off the hook, but because he was black. The blacks were also prejudice against the whites. When the Finch children went to the black church one of the...

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