“The air is the only place free from prejudice,” said Bessie Coleman, the first female pilot of African American descent. Meaning, that everyone has experienced prejudice in their lives, either as victims themselves, or guilty of using prejudice towards others due to differences between them. There are different types of prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird illustrated by the situations of Boo Radley, Tom Robinson & Dolphus Raymond.
The person who deals with the most prejudice is Boo Radley. "Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that 's why his hands were bloodstained -- if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten, his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time,” said Jem Finch. (Lee 13) That is not fair to him to have that name placed on him without any true facts behind it. Boo Radley has been misjudged by others because he never comes out of his house and so little was known about him. The rumours of ghosts stories the children have heard, increase their fear of Boo Radley. "Every night sound I heard from my cot on the back porch was magnified three-fold; every scratch of feet on gravel was Boo Radley seeking revenge, every passing Negro laughing in the night was Boo Radley loose and after us; insects splashing against the screen were Boo Radley 's insane fingers picking the
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“Don’t you know you’re not suppose to even touch the trees? … You’ll get killed if you do.”(Lee 24)Jem says this to Scout out of concern and love, to try and protect her but scare her away from the Radley house. Jem had then started his own rumors about Boo Radley, by imaginatively describing what Boo would look like. “There is a long-jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped and he drooled most of the time.”(Lee
Harper Lee creates Boo Radley as one of the symbols in the story to represent an archetype of a kind soul who is neglected by society. The author uses Boo Radley as a disguised phantom to prove that underneath this disguise is a compassionate soul. Lee demonstrates this in the following quote: “Any stealthy small crimes committed in Maycomb were [Boo’s] work... A Negro would not pass the Radley Place at night…” (Harper Lee 10-11).
Overall the story of Boo Radley can make readers intimidated from the six foot, squirrel eating, scissor stabbing maniac. In Boo’s description he supposedly has a long, jagged scar that runs across his face, yellow and rotten teeth, and drools most of the time. While in Jeff the Killer’s urban legend, he is “extremely pale from bleaching his skin, his eyes are surrounded in black skin, he also has a long red lipped smile which he carved into his face with a knife.” Like Boo, his height also reaches around six feet. The physical descriptions of
Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird has many examples of prejudice. The prejudice presented is against people such as Tom Robinson, Atticus Finch, and Boo Radley. Each is discriminated against either because of the color of their skin, who they represent in court, or just how much they isolate themselves from the town. Harper Lee’s stance on racial prejudice is that it is a foolish practice, no matter who does it. Prejudice is a very large part of To Kill a Mockingbird.
Boo Radley, an innocent man who hasn’t been seen in years, is someone who is significantly affected by these stereotypes. This is displayed in the quote,“Inside the house lived a malevolent phantom. People said he existed, but Jem and I had never seen him” (Lee 9). Boo Radley is derived to be an evil person even though very few, if any, people have ever seen him. The people of Maycomb place stereotypes on him from stories and allow their imagination to make false accusations.
The Prejudice of Maycomb County Prejudice has plagued the United States of America for decades, and still plays an important role in the lives of everyday people today. Moreover, it can be in the form of racism, sexism, classism, or one of many other countless methods of presumption towards others. Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, chooses to illustrate the prejudice of Maycomb County through the use of characters’ actions and dialogue. Aunt Alexandra may be full of pride, but she is prejudice nonetheless.
Boo Radley had been kept in isolation for so long, he didn’t know how to communicate or socialise properly. He has been misunderstood as a malevolent person, when he actually is a benevolent person. He displays this when he put a blanket around Scout, whilst she and Jem watched the fire. As readers, we are shown social prejudice by the assumptions made about the Radley’s. Another example of social prejudice is the
Boo Radley, a prevalent, although often unseen, character in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, was no exception. Throughout the novel, rumors and lies altered the public perception of Boo Radley. Very often, these rumors propagated, as they were distorted further
Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird Prejudice in the 1950s was a problem and it still is in 2017. When it comes to the topic of prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee conveys it is important that before judging someone, get to know them better. One example of prejudice Harper Lee uses in To Kill a Mockingbird is Tom Robinson. In the small town of Maycomb almost everyone assumes Tom is guilty of raping Mayella Ewell even though there is no evidence or reasoning.
“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” This is a quote from Atticus Finch, a courageous and wise character from Harper Lee 's novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. The story is told through the perspective of a young girl, Jean Louise ¨Scout¨ Finch. She lives with her older brother, Jeremy, and widowed father and prominent lawyer, Atticus, in Maycomb, Alabama during the time of the Great Depression. Throughout the novel, the children experience the injustice and prejudice of society through a tough case that their father was appointed to and are taught to respect and tolerate all people, despite their differences.
In Maycomb, people fear what they do not know and what is unusual to them, hence shaping the rumours of Boo Radley to cope with the unknown. Considering he is unseen from the public eye, and has a messy past, many begin to fantasize what is happening with him currently by constructing stories. Anyone who claims that they know information on Boo, have no proof or firsthand experience to support it as the truth. Scout knows that Jem’s information source on Boo Radley is from another individual and their fantasies, “So Jem received most of his information from Miss Stephanie Crawford, a neighbourhood scold, who said she knew the whole thing.”
One of the main themes of the novel is Racism. During the time of depression, racism and poverty were a common issue. People with a dark skin tone, i.e the African- Americans were seen as derogatory and treated like dirt. Harper Lee depicts it in a very realistic way.
In the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee many people in the town of Maycomb are treated very differently due to their skin color, or rumors they heard from people. Arthur “Boo” Radley was treated differently because he was never seen. When truly Boo isn't any of what they think but because people look at the outside of a person they judge them and treat people different because they aren't like them. The author reveals that it is important to recognize that all humans deserve respect regardless of their status in society.
After witnessing Jem, Scout, and Dill acting out his rumored “life story”, I infer that it must have been very weird and uncomfortable for Boo to be so close to “his children” when they were the ones who supposedly made fun of him. Emotionally he is struggling because he is overwhelmed by the fact that he is always a hot topic of the town, and the trio acting his story out didn’t make him feel any better. In the poem “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou the last stanza is written “The caged bird sings/ with a fearful trill/ of things unknown/ but longed for still/and his tune is heard/ on the distant hill/ for the caged bird/sings of freedom.” Boo Radley