In To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee teaches us about the town of Maycomb County during the late 1930s, where the characters live in isolation and victimization. Through the perspective of a young Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, readers will witness the prejudice that Maycomb produces during times where people face judgement through age, gender, skin colour, and class, their whole lives. Different types of prejudice are present throughout the story and each contribute to how events play out in the small town of Maycomb. Consequently, socially disabling the people who fall victim from living their life comfortably in peace. Boo Radley and his isolation from Maycomb County, the racial aspects of Tom Robinson, and the decision Atticus Finch makes as a lawyer, to defend a black man has all made them fall in the hands of Maycomb’s prejudice ways.
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.
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.
Although, without any shred of proof, Tom Robinson goes on trial for the rape of Mayella Ewell. This pre-determined bias is exhibited clearly through the actions and words that the people of Maycomb ensue, all because of his skin colour. Tom Robinson is ridiculed, name called, and dehumanised by the citizens of Maycomb and is left to face an unfair trial. From the beginning, Tom Robinson does not have a fair chance to defend himself as the jury is highly biased against people of colour. Also, Atticus Finch explains why Tom Robinson has zero chance of winning the trial, “There’s something in our world that makes men lose their heads-they couldn’t be fair if they tried. In our courts where it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins. They’re ugly, but those are the facts of life.” (To Kill a Mockingbird 295). What the statement boils down to is that the men in that jury have a bias against black people and that a black man could never beat a white man in court. Based on what Atticus said, there is just something about race that makes white people go crazy and not be able to think straight. The quote illustrates the main struggle that Tom Robinson must overcome, biases and prejudice that the men in that court have against him. The people of Maycomb that are not directly involved in the court case are also a problem, with the racist comments and
Social prejudice is shown throughout Harper Lee’s award winning book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee powerfully analyses the theme social prejudice, and its effect on people. Such as how the
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.
Literature can be analyzed with many different critical lenses. While analyzing To Kill a Mockingbird, one may use a critical lens to recognize the different ideas throughout the novel. Harper Lee’s novel demonstrates her perspective on intolerance and discrimination within the early twentieth century.
In Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, undoubtedly there is more than one type of discrimination displayed. Before we get into that, what exactly is discrimination? Well, to discriminate means to treat someone differently based on what they believe, their age, gender, who they love, even their appearance. The forms that I will be talking about are Sexism, (Prejudice actions based on gender) Racism, (Prejudice actions based on race) classism, (Prejudice actions on those of a different social class) and discrimination on those with a disability.
Race has always been a part of history, from slavery to MLK, to Barack Obama. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee defines race in the south during the 1930’s. Jean “Scout” Finch, is the narrator of the story. Her brother Jeremy “Jem” and her dad, Atticus, are both main characters. Calpurnia is their house cook and helper, she is also black. Tom Robinson is a black man who is wrongfully convicted of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell. This novel goes through Scout's life from when she was 6, till she is 9. She lives in the town of Maycomb Alabama, and lives an innocent life until about halfway through the story, where she begins to ask questions. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Scout shows the readers that racial inequality creates an unjust society through the African American community, through the people surrounding colored folks, and through Tom Robinson’s Case.
There are many times when racial discrimination is shown in the novel, like when Calpurnia takes Scout and Jem to her church and Lula tells them many times that she has no business bringin white children to a black church. “You ain’t got no business bringin white chillun here they got their church we got our’n (Lee 158). This is just one of the many examples of this in To Kill a Mockingbird. Racial discrimination was also shown when Scout wants to go visit Calpurnia but Aunt Alexandra quickly tells her no and that she has no business going over there. “Atticus. I’ll go next Sunday if it’s all right can I Cal said she’d come get me if you were off in the car You may not Aunt Alexandra said it. I wheeled around, startled,
Social injustice is consistently seen throughout To Kill A Mockingbird. For example, Lee’s main characters, such as Jem and Scout Finch, develop
In the 1930s, if a black man was on trial there was a ample chance he would be convicted even if evidence proved he was innocent. Throughout history humans being prejudice and bias have affected the lives of thousands of people; some ending with favorable outcomes while others weren’t so fortunate. Within the book To Kill a Mockingbird the readers learn that prejudice and bias people outnumber the understanding and kind. One decision or in this case twelve decisions decide the fate for an unfortunate man. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee reveals that people often follow their biases and prejudices rather than the truth.
On a rainy day, a man at the bus stop asks for change. The two choices are walking past him avoiding eye contact, or giving him the change with a smile. Before even talking to this man, one may have already made the assumption that he is homeless or a drug addict wanting to buy his next high. But assumptions cannot accurately explain who he is or why he needs money. The novel To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee explores this idea of judging others before looking at the world from their perspective. Scout and Jem, although raised in a prejudice town, learn from their father Atticus that who a person is racially, does not define them as a person. Although the children make up stories about Arthur “Boo” Radley to pass the time in part one of the novel, in part two the Tom Robinson situation widens their eyes to the biased ways of their town. In the end, Jem and Scout are rescued by Boo Radley, the very person they feared during their childhood. Mockingbirds are used as a symbol in the novel to portray the fact that innocent and caring people are sometimes the most abused. The theme of presumptions and the dangers of judging others are explored through the childhood fable of Boo, the story of Atticus, and the trial of Tom Robinson; the mockingbirds.
Cultural norms are what make and shape a society. They are the guidelines, and or patterns, that are to be followed, in order to be considered a normal, typical, everyday citizen. As such, it does not matter if the norms are right or wrong. As long as the citizen is still a part of their society, right and wrong does not matter, as far as they are concerned. In the case of To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, the cultural norm, of Maycomb County, embraces the wrong, in the form of extreme prejudice behavior. A behavior, of which, presents itself heavily while either talking, and or mentioning, the topics of religions, racism and classism.
To Kill a Mockingbird is an important text worthy of all the recognition it received in the time following its original publication.