How Does Lee Use Discrimination In To Kill A Mockingbird

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee shows that stereotypical thoughts lead to different opinions or discrimination. Discrimination is expressed in many ways in this novel like through the setting. Maycomb county has a “usual disease” where everyone discriminates people when they come by. “You know what’s gonna happen as well as I do, Jack, and I hope and pray I can get Jem and Scout through it without bitterness, and most of all, without catching Maycomb’s usual disease” (Lee 88). In Maycomb everyone thinks the same way. When they see a black person they will treat them badly because of the stereotypes against them. Atticus hopes that his children will not become like the rest and “catch the usual Maycomb disease” and hopes that they will …show more content…

Jem and Scout tell Calpurnia that they see a dog walking down the street towards them and by looking, Cal warns everyone that there is a “mad dog” coming towards them. “‘Look at him,’ whispered Jem. ‘Mr. Heck said they walk in a straight line. He can’t even stay in the road.’ ‘He looks more sick than anything,’ I said” (Lee 95). The mad dog symbolizes Tom Robinson. They are both categorized as being dangerous and everyone thinks that they need to be taken care of. When the dog is killed it is similar to when Tom is killed. They didn’t deserve to be killed and were innocent but since everyone assumed that they were a danger, they were executed. In many cases things are judged before actually knowing what is actually going on. When this happens things do not turn out as planned.. One more example is during Tom Robinson’s court case Atticus makes his final closing statement. “Judge Taylor was polling the jury: ‘Guilty...guilty...guilty,,,guilty...” (Lee 211). The jury symbolizes the effect of racism. Tom had a lot of evidence to prove that he is innocent, however because of the stereotypes against people of his color the jury decision was that he was guilty. Tom didn’t really have a chance since it was two white folks against him. If Tom had not been black he most likely would have been proven innocent, however since he is black the jury’s opinion was changed. The opinions of people are changed based on little things

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