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To Kill A Mockingbird Prejudice Essay

1490 words - 6 pages

Prejudice and Discrimination in Harper Lee’s, To Kill A Mockingbird
As human beings, we have the tendency to judge people based on their skin color, cultural beliefs, social status and past behaviors. Any kind of prejudice has a profound affect on the personal health and achievement of the victim. Throughout the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, various kinds of prejudice has been witnessed within the town of Maycomb. Jem and Scout portray characters who witness three kinds of prejudice and its consequences on the victim’s family and personal health. Racial prejudice is the dominant factor of Maycomb, and results in a major division line between the whites and black's, this kind of ...view middle of the document...

Throughout the book, the words, “nigger” and “darky” were frequently used, this is a form of insult. These words were used to refer to anyone colored; this would often define the individual and indicate that they are not valued and viewed only based on their race. One instance was when Cecil Jacobs called Atticus a “nigger lover” for defending Tom Robinson. This indicates that even though Atticus Finch holds a high role in society and he is white, he is still degraded for even associating himself with a colored man. “May--? No, child. That darky’s wife. Tom’s wife, Tom.”. (Lee 231). Tom Robinson was referred to as “darkie” as if there was nothing else that could describe him before she used his name. Aunt Alexandra was quite biased and thought of herself as superior. These kinds of terms indicate racism because it indicates the fact that people feel like there is nothing else to them. They define someone by this, like Tom was defined and punished for his race. Lastly, in the courtroom, Mr. Gilmer questioned Tom for even daring to feel bad for Mayella. “you felt sorry for her, you felt sorry for her?” (Lee 197). Tom Robinson stated that Mayella tried very hard to keep her family in tact and had a lot of responsibilities on her and that’s why he felt bad, he helped her because of this. They wanted to prove that they live in better circumstances than the blacks, making them more hardworking and respectable.
Secondly, one of the most prevalent types of prejudice witnessed and contributed to by Jem and Scout was prejudice that was the sole result of differences, and being an outcast. Boo Radley was isolated from the town due to a childish prank that was done over 25 years ago. They hadn’t seen him since and assumed the worst. They assumed that Boo Radley was a monster hence the name Boo. “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.” (Lee,13) They had built up an inaccurate image of Boo and therefore discriminated the entire family. The town of Maycomb made many assumptions on Boo and believed that anything that occurred which was unfortunate was a direct result of Boo’s actions. They witness sed and realized the fact that Boo was directly isolated from society when he attempted to communicate to them through the gifts he left in the tree. Next, Atticus Finch was a crucial character in the novel, he exhibited many admirable qualities; he was a man that held high belief in the concept of morals; he held a broad perception on life and it’s issues and attempted to use this when fighting the Tom Robinson case. Atticus Finch believed that everyone was equal and that race shouldn’t be considered when concluding anything....

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