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The Solution To Stereotypes Essay

956 words - 4 pages

As long as stereotypes remain a part of society, justice cannot be upheld due to the bias and prejudice of these misconceptions. Specifically, in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee displays the outcome of a racist and stereotypical society through the eyes of the young protagonist Jean Louise (Scout) Finch. As Scout matures, she begins to notice the myriad of flaws and imperfections within her society and as a result, Scout’s father, Atticus Finch, teaches her to look past an individual's exterior. Thus, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird displays the physical consequences of stereotypes as well as how they limit, restrict, and govern the actions of humans; ultimately, this exhibits the destructive nature of stereotypes that also prevents individual growth.
The physical consequences of stereotypes are exhibited countless times throughout the novel. For those who do not conform, its aftermath includes scrutiny, isolation, and even death. When Atticus Finch decides to defend a black man, he is bombarded with criticism. His own nephew Francis said, "‘...Grandma says it's bad enough he lets you all run wild, but now he's turned out a n*****-lover we'll never be able to walk the streets of Maycomb agin. He's ruinin' the family, that's what he's doin'" (Lee 83). Due to Maycomb's intolerance for coloured people, Atticus Finch is shunned by society. Furthermore, this scrutiny extends past Atticus himself and causes his family to face hardships; this is seen as Scout and Jem are mistreated by Maycomb's white community because they do not approve of their father’s actions. Yet, even more atrocious were the unjust actions geared towards Tom Robinson. “‘The state has not produced one iota of medical evidence to the effect that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place’” (203). In the end, Tom Robinson was charged as guilty and died, despite the lack of evidence against him and the evidence which supported him. Maycomb is a society built on the belief that whites are better than blacks. In other words, regardless of the events at the trial, the jury never intended to give a fair verdict due to their societal beliefs. All in all, stereotypes are destructive as they result in pain and remorse.
In addition, the presence of stereotypes limit and restrict the actions and ideas of individuals. This is because stereotypes are often delusions which are regarded as the truth. Throughout the entire novel, it is evident that those who are white are kept separate from those who are black. "Lula stopped, but she said, 'You ain't got no business bringin' white chillun here--they got their church, we got our'n. It is our church, ain't it, Miss Cal?'" (119). This is significant as these racial groups do not share public areas. Fundamentally, this limits the social circles of individuals as this stereotype restricts...

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