Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

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During the era of the Great Depression, racism and prejudice were rampant in the deep south. In the novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, by Harper Lee, there are several characters who are bound or isolated by the harsh social structure of the town of Maycomb, not only by racism but also by bitter, judgemental characters. Mayella Ewell and Boo Radley are excellent examples of this metaphorical imprisonment, and as their stories develop and more is revealed about these troubled characters, readers are able to understand their dire situations. Mayella Ewell is imprisoned by her family’s differences and her father due to his despicable behavior. At the beginning of Mayella’s testimony, she is described as “someone [who] bathed regularly, as opposed …show more content…

Boo’s backstory and the details of his life have been twisted into wild stories that confuse and mislead people, causing him to be a source of fear in the town. Boo is said to be “six-and-a-half feet tall… he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, and that’s why his hands were bloodstained” (14). This description of Boo is completely false but shows how many rumors are spread about the poor man. He is imprisoned, literally and figuratively. Boo has been held captive in the Radley house, unable to come out because of his brother and the fear of the townspeople’s reception to his liberation. In chapter five, Ms. Maudie tells of how Boo “always spoke nicely to [her], no matter what folks said he did” (51). The encounter with Ms. Maudie disproves the lies spread about Boo, yet even with the truth known, Boo cannot fix what has been done. By the end of the story, it becomes clear Boo Radley is a boy who was held captive by his family and boxed in by the citizens of Maycomb. Boo made mistakes in his teenage years but he has learned and grown from them, and does not fit into the mold society has cast for him, even though he is imprisoned by

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