Racial Inequality In To Kill A Mockingbird

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In the classical 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee depicts the social and racial inequality in southern American society during the 1930’s. Residing in Maycomb County, Atticus Finch and his two children, Scout and Jem, gain appreciation for tolerance as they encounter diverse characters such as Tom Robinson and Boo Radley. Told from Scout’s perspective of their adventures, Jem and Scout explore the prejudicial flaws of their community. The portrayal of a catalyst and prophet matches the personality of Jeremy “Jem” Atticus Finch; serving as the brother and friend of his sister Scout, Jem’s once innocent and naive world view is exposed to the less savory aspects of southern culture when his father takes on a case defending an African American man accused of rape. As the dehumanizing factors of institutionalized and widespread racial discrimination and prejudice become evident, Jem learns that empathy and human understanding are crucial in realizing full human potential. Jem functions as the mentor and bigger brother of Scout, and similarly to Dill, from the beginning of the story. However, as Jem’s character develops, he begins to see Scout under a mild authoritarian view. During the first summer, Dill and Jem are constantly daring each other to touch or approach the Radley house, when Scout warns Jem about the consequences for this daring challenge, Jem retaliates by telling her that “‘you act so much like a girl it’s mortifyin’”(50). Jem’s outburst gives Scout
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