To Kill A Mockingbird How Is The Theme Of Prejudice And Discrimination Presented In The Book?

1649 words - 7 pages

To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel revolved mainly around the events before, during, and after the trial of a black man, Tom Robinson, who was accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a white. As the summary in the book stated, "they (the children) begin to learn that life is not as straight-forward and as fair as it seemed through the eyes of their childhood...and how people react when they are forced to choose between their prejudices and what they know is right."Set in the Southern state of Alabama, just decades after the civil war and during the Great Depression, prejudice and discrimination against the blacks still exists in the Maycomb society. Seen through the eyes of Scout, the rumours about Arthur Radley (Boo) seems nothing more than a simple story, but they are, in fact, an evidence of the Maycomb society's prejudice against a juvenile who had accidentally gone astray. During her description of the life of Boo, there is a line that says "The sheriff hadn't the heart to put him in jail alongside the Negroes," even though Boo himself is prejudiced against, there are the blacks who stand on an even lower social status than the worst of the whites. This is further supported by the trial scene which will be elaborated, showing the extreme prejudice against the blacks in Maycomb.Apart from the prejudice against the blacks, there is also clearly a prejudice as well as a caste system in the white society. The Finches, together with Miss Maudie Atkinson, are at the top of the caste system, being educated and holding respectable positions, they are followed by the normal town folks such as Miss Stephanie Crawford and Mr Avery. Then, the poor folks such as the Old Sarums are further down the list, while right at the bottom of the list are the Ewells, with their poor economical condition and ill behaviour, considered "white trash". Like Jem told Scout after the trial that he had it figured out, "There's four kinds of folks in the world. There's the ordinary kind like us and the neighbours, there's the kind like the Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells down at the dump, and the Negroes." He also goes on with his opinions, which justifies the prejudice and discrimination of each "kind of people" in Maycomb, saying that "our kind of folks don't like the Cunninghams, the Cunninghams don't like the Ewells, and the Ewells hate and despise the coloured folks." This clearly marks out the social classes of the Maycomb County people.There are a few events on the theme of prejudice and discrimination, mainly on the case of Tom Robinson. Firstly, when Atticus got the case, Scout and Jem are taunted by their schoolmates and peers, so much so that the first time Scout hears Atticus being accused of being a "nigger-lover" by Cecil Jacobs, she beat him up and is subjected to a "Policy of Cowardice" under Atticus's request, and the second time she has to break her policy because her cousin Francis continuously taunted her about Atticus being a...

Find Another Essay On To kill a mockingbird - How is the theme of prejudice and discrimination presented in the book?

Explore the ways the relationship between Atticus and Scout is presented in `To Kill a Mockingbird`

3884 words - 16 pages 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is a novel that was written in the 1960s, but Harper Lee decided to set the novel in the Depression era of the 1930s in a small town in Alabama. Lee provided her readers with a historical background for the affairs of that time and in doing so she exposed the deeply entrenched history of the civil rights in South America. Like the main characters in this novel, Lee grew up in Alabama; this made it easier for her to

The Theme of Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird

2567 words - 10 pages : why would you kill or harm something that does not mean you harm? Ultimately the mockingbird represents a form of innocence in the novel; the word “kill” is metaphorical as the innocents are being harmed or ruined by evil throughout the novel. This sentiment applies to a few characters in the book, many of which are African American. The first, and most obvious, is Tom Robinson, who is falsely accused of raping Mayella Ewell. Tom is shot after

The Theme of Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird

1327 words - 5 pages In the book To Kill a Mockingbird, many minor themes are present such as gender and age. However, the largest and therefore major theme of the book is racism. All of the events and themes in the book had only one purpose, to support the theme of racism. One of the most important events in the book was Tom Robinson’s trial, which was unfairly judged due to the fact that the jury could not see beyond the color of Tom’s skin. The put their own

Themes of Prejudice and Tolerance in To Kill a Mockingbird

816 words - 3 pages The book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel. It is set in the 1930s, a time when racism was very prominent. Harper Lee emphasizes the themes of prejudice and tolerance in her novel through the use of her characters and their interactions within the Maycomb community. The narrator of the story, Scout, comes across many people and situations with prejudice and tolerance, as her father defends a black man

Prejudice and Discrimination in “To Kill a Mockingbird” - ENG2D1-03 - Essay

985 words - 4 pages Discrimination and prejudice has been an existing problem since the seventeenth century and still exists today. Discrimination has been a worldwide dilemma and was very evident during the early 1900s. In the novel “To kill a mockingbird” it portrays this theme perfectly while teaching the reader a moral lesson about discrimination. There are 3 characters that face this theme but are truly very good people. Boo Radley who gets discriminated for

The Theme of an Oustider in Silas Marner and To Kill a Mockingbird

2872 words - 11 pages Discuss the theme of an oustider in Silas Marner and To Kill a Mockingbird. What is an outsider? The dictionary defines that an outsider is a person excluded from a group. The outsider plays an important part in both novels. In 'Silas Marner' by George Eliot Silas is the main outsider, however in 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee even though Boo is the obvious outsider there are many others. 'Silas Marner' is written by George

Racism presented in 'To Kill A Mockingbird'

707 words - 3 pages Harper Lee is an American author known for her novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird', renowned for dealing with issues of prejudice in the 1930's.One of the key points in which Harper Lee shows racism at its most obvious is during Tom Robinson's trial. In this scene Lee shows racial inequality, through the words of Mr Gilmer who repeatedly calls Tom Robinson 'boy'. The word is patronising and belittles Tom allowing the reader to empathise with him and

How does the setting contribute to the theme of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

627 words - 3 pages that makes the world more pleasant by "singing their hearts out" (94) and making music for us to enjoy. Harper Lee uses the term, mockingbird, to reveal the "sin" (94) of prejudice and problem of racism in the South.The setting acts as a superb backdrop to the deeply rooted prejudice where the theme is revealed. United States proudly professed democracy but sadly practiced the antithesis of democracy. Under the years of the Great Depression in the South, it is the varying forms of discrimination that results the prejudicial attitude people have towards others.

Theme of Racial Prejudice in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

1717 words - 7 pages add more snow and mud to it thus making the snowman change colour. This represents how irrelevant the skin colour of a person is in contrast to the beliefs of the people of Maycomb County. In conclusion, Lee uses various techniques to develop the theme of racial prejudice in the novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” such as the personalities of characters, the racist comments made by the characters, and symbolism. Lee effectively highlights racism to the reader and successfully encourages the reader to sympathise with the victims of discrimination.

Prejudice in How To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

3224 words - 13 pages spite of the importance of these concepts, the most far-reaching theme is how prejudice and education coincide, or, more accurately, how prejudice and a lack of education coincide (Theme 1). In To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee explores how a normally rational person’s ability to reason can be tainted by prejudice, even subconsciously. Rarely do the characters in Lee’s novel make an effort to be cruel, but in the 1930s South, prejudice was less about

"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee shows, through the use of irony and characterization, that ignorance is present in the town of Maycomb and how determination can combat prejudice

944 words - 4 pages marches. The novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is about Scout and her brother Jem growing up in the racist town of Maycomb, Alabama. The message that Harper Lee is trying to get across is that ignorance causes prejudice, but can be defeated through the determination of others when they stand up for what is right. Through the use of irony and characterization Lee shows the ignorance that is present in the town of Maycomb and how

Similar Essays

The Theme Of Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird

630 words - 3 pages “To Kill a Mocking Bird” is a novel which was written by Harper Lee. In my essay I will discuss how Harper Lee explores the theme of prejudice by looking at the writing techniques and how they affect people. To Kill a Mocking Bird is a novel that explores prejudice in a small American town in the Deep South. It is set during the depression. One of the main features that the novel explores is the theme of racial prejudice. In the novel Tom

The Theme Of Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird

2346 words - 9 pages The Theme of Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ teaches us about the deceit and prejudice amongst the residents of Maycomb County, all of whom have very contrasting and conflicting views. We are told the story through the eyes of little girl, Scout, and the day-to-day prejudices she faces amongst society. Her father, Atticus, is a white man defending a Negro, even though the town frowns upon such a thing. He is

Prejudice And Discrimination In "To Kill A Mockingbird"

5933 words - 24 pages lawyer and his innocent children. Told through the simple point of view of Scout, a little girl, the novel takes readers in deep thoughts about the unfairness towards the innocent people who have committed no crime except that of their background. Prejudice and discrimination is thus presented in a truthful manner through various incidents of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. We saw with this book that racial prejudice should be tolerated a bit

The Theme Of Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

1903 words - 8 pages To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee Show how the theme of prejudice is explored through the Characters of Boo, Atticus and Scout. "Show how the theme of prejudice is explored through the Characters of Boo, Atticus and Scout." In the following essay I am going to show how the theme of prejudice is explored through the Characters of Boo, Atticus and Scout. Prejudice in the novel is directed towards groups as well as individuals. As