Skip to content

Essays On To Kill A Mockingbird Prejudice Define

Prejudice in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

935 Words4 Pages

Prejudice in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird is a novel which can deceive the reader into thinking that it is very simple. However, if the reader delves beneath the surface, she may find that there are a number of complex themes running through the novel. One of the central themes in this novel is the prejudice that was characteristic of southern town in the 1930?s. A variety of prejudices combine to form the character of the town of Maycomb. The three main prejudices encountered are those of race, class, and sex.

The prejudice of race, in the novel, makes the words of a lower-class white woman from a ne?er do well family readily accepted against those of a Negro with an upstanding reputation. When…show more content…

Mixing of the races is simply not permitted in Maycomb society, unless one is either eccentric like Mr. Dolphus Raymond or too low in status to be of any concern.

These racial prejudices, of course, have disastrous consequences for Tom Robinson. Even though Atticus proves that Tom could not have raped Mayella, the jury convicts Tom, and he is sentenced to death. When Atticus tries to explain the biased verdict to his children he says that in a case of a white man?s word against that of a black man, the white man always wins.

An almost equally important prejudice in creating the caste system in Maycomb is that of class. The divisions by this prejudice are also clear. People like the Finches are at the top of the social hierarchy, and far below them are people like the Cunninghams, who are respectable, but poor. Jem explains to Scout that even further below the Cunninghams are the Ewells, and further below the Ewells are the ?colored folks? whom the Ewells despise. Jem assess that everyone but the blacks have someone to look down upon.

Within this caste system is behavioral standards for individuals in their specific social caste. People like the Finches have a ?postion? to uphold, while a Cunningham may be poor, but refuses charity or pity. Lee notes that the every town has families like the Ewells, who are an eyesore to the community.
The Ewells are avoided by the more decent people of

Show More

"To Kill A Mockingbird, On Courage", Prejudice, And Justice

In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee, Scout Finch, a six-year-old girl, in which the story is told/seen through the eyes of, goes through many changes, and probably the most dramatic and best-explained changes are in the courage, prejudice, and justice categories; Scout lives with her older brother, Jem, her father, Atticus, and their black maid, Calpurnia. Now, Jem is an out-going bright boy who finds many adventures with the Radley's and their house, he's very, well, he's just an ordinary, young boy who likes sports and loves to go outside on adventures. The Radleys are a family who never come outside, never make any noise, never talk to anyone outside of their house which everybody is scared to go near because they thought it was haunted or something and they kind of have a dislike to them because there are rumors going around town that Boo was just sitting down clipping newspaper articles when he turned around and stabbed his father in the knee and when he was at court his father took him inside the house and nobody saw him again, but they say that at night he goes around taking peoples cats or dogs and eating them or stealing peoples stuff.

Atticus is a lawyer and a well-respected man in Maycomb County (where the whole story takes place) and is a very great father and very intelligent, he's not very strict on his children unless he needs to be for some reason, so most of the time the kids do as they please. Calpurnia's the Finch's black maid who despite Scout's dislike for in the beginning is very nice and light-hearted and just a kind of like a mother to the children since their real mother died. Now, after that said, one of Scout's most dramatic changes comes in her understanding of the category of prejudice...

In the book, Scout reveals to her audience that prejudice, is a destructive force in any society. During the time that Mockingbird was written, racism

was acceptable. Racism is a key theme in Lee's book. Not only were those who were black, but also those who affiliated with blacks, considered inferior. Atticus, a lawyer, who defended blacks in court, was mocked. An example of this and some of Scout's growth in this category is when Mrs. Dubose (a neighbor to the Finch's) told the children "Your father's no better than the niggers and trash he works for". This strong example of how racism would control the lives of many people throughout the early 20th century.

The reasons why prejudice is so destructive to a community is each side thinks that they are better than the other side, which means instead of trying to solve the problem at hand they are getting divided by their race, as they have no interest in communicating with the other party. Back in the time period of To Kill a Mockingbird, black people were considered to be lower class, which caused white people to...

Loading: Checking Spelling


Read more

Courage in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

759 words - 3 pages Courage, Oxford Australian school dictionary defines it as ‘the ability to face danger or difficulty or pain even when one is afraid’. Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ portrays courage in many different...

Courage in "To Kill A Mockingbird"

731 words - 3 pages "Courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what" According to Atticus Finch, an honest lawyer in Harper Lee's novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" teaches the children that courage can be portrayed as...

Prejudice and discrimination in "To Kill a Mockingbird"

5933 words - 24 pages Abstract"To kill a Mockingbird" was written by Harper Lee to criticize discrimination and prejudice to black people. Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel which is about white lawyer Atticus Finch who defends an innocent...

Sexism, Prejudice, and Racism in Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird

2879 words - 12 pages Throughout the book To Kill A Mockingbird Lee discusses the effects of ignorance and the toll it takes on people such as Tom Robinson, Boo Radley, Scout herself, and many more. Through her examples of sexism, prejudice, and racism, from the populist of poverty stricken Southerners, she shows the readers the injustice of many. The victims of ignorance are the ‘mockingbirds’ of the story. A good example of this injustice is the trial of Tom...

Themes of Prejudice and Tolerance in To Kill a Mockingbird

816 words - 3 pages The book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel. It is set in the 1930s, a time when racism was very prominent. Harper Lee emphasizes the themes of prejudice and tolerance in her novel through the use of her characters and their interactions within the Maycomb community. The narrator of the story, Scout, comes across many people and situations with prejudice and tolerance, as her father defends a black man. ...

Prejudice in to kill a mockingbird

804 words - 3 pages It can be argued that the most prominent theme in 'To Kill A Mocking Bird' is prejudice. It is directed towards groups and individuals in the Maycomb community. Prejudice is linked with ideas of fear and injustice.There was surely no nation in the world that holds "racism" in greater horror than does the

Prejudice in "To Kill a MockingBird"

522 words - 2 pages Prejudice is a foggy window which we all look out of. It impairsnot only sight, but also our thoughts and actions. When we look throughthe window, not everyone can see past the fog. Sometimes we see people andthink they are our enemies when really they are just a little bit differentthen us, be they a different race or even a different sex. These prejudiceviews are not uncommon, even though most of the time...

Courage in "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee; this focuses on true and false courage and the natural characteristics of courageous people.

794 words - 3 pages To Kill a Mockingbird demonstrates courage by certain characters' willingness to defend and sustain their own perspective. Also, true courage involves boldness and strength to resist other opinions, disregarding the pressure of others and their morals. False courage would include hypocrisy. Throughout the novel,

Courage in To Kill a Mockingbird Book title: To Kill a Mockingbird Author: Harper Lee

944 words - 4 pages Courage, you have probably heard of this word before but what does it actually mean? Well, according to, an online dictionary, courage means the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear. In the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, courage is evidently portrayed when Atticus...

Theme of Courage in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

1796 words - 7 pages To Kill A Mockingbird is a book about courage to what extent do you agree with this? Harper Lee's first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, displays the life of a small southern family struggling through the depression in Maycomb, Alabama. Seen through the innocent eyes of a young child are the events and people of Maycomb. Courage is a major theme in the novel but there are other themes like the Hypocrisy, Protecting the innocent and Prejudice,...

Courage in To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

1205 words - 5 pages Courage exists in several forms in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. As defined by Atticus Finch, real courage "…when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what” (149). The novel explores the how this real courage can be shown in different ways through the lives of many characters in Maycomb, particularly, Tom Robinson, Mrs. Dubose, and Atticus. Their courage is evident through...