Essay on to kill a mockingbird racial prejudice


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It has been a staple of high school syllabuses, including in Australia, for several decades, and is often deemed the archetypal race and coming-of-age novel. For many of us, it is a formative read of our youth. Read more: 'Great books', nationhood and teaching English literature.

To Kill a Mockingbird Prejudice Essay

At the centre of the family and the novel stands the highly principled lawyer Atticus Finch. A widower, he teaches Scout, her older brother Jem, and their imaginative friend Dill, how to live and behave honourably. When the book begins they are preoccupied with catching sight of the mysterious and much feared Boo Radley, who in his youth stabbed his father with a pair of scissors and who has never come out of the family house since.

And when Atticus agrees to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who is falsely accused of raping a white woman, they too become the target of hatred. One might expect a book that dispatches moral lessons to be dull reading. But To Kill a Mockingbird is no sermon. The lessons are presented in a seemingly effortless style, all the while tackling the complexity of race issues with startling clarity and a strong sense of reality. The effortlessness of the writing owes much to the way the story is told. The narrator is a grown Scout, looking back on her childhood.

When she begins her story, she seems more interested in telling us about the people and incidents that occupied her six-year-old imagination.

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Only slowly does she come to the events that changed everything for her and Jem, which were set in motion long before their time. Even then, she tells these events in a way that shows she too young to always grasp their significance. A case in point is when the children return home from the school concert with Scout still dressed in her outlandish ham costume.

In the dark they are chased and attacked by Bob Ewell the father of the woman whom Robinson allegedly raped. Ewell, armed with a knife, attempts to stab Scout, but the shapeless wire cage of the ham causes her to loose balance and the knife to go astray. In the struggle that ensues someone pulls Ewell off the teetering body of Scout and he falls on the knife.

Prejudice in 'To Kill a Mockingbird' By Harper Lee

It was Boo Radley who saved her. The children rejoice at what they consider an impressive display of courage. However, he tells them that what he did was not truly brave.


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  6. Theme of Racial Prejudice in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird Essay?

He also teaches them the importance of behaving in a civilised manner, even when subjected to insults. Prejudice is the manifestation of the negative thoughts of a group or race. A specific example of this is on page 73 when Jem and Scout are making a snowman. This manifestation could be the cause of The Holocaust. Some people but not everyone believed that they needed to segregate Negroes until they would simply disappear. White people thought that if they could eradicate Negroes they could create a perfect world.

This could be reflected on the KKK. The KKK believes that for the earth to be purified they need to. Based on this I can say that white people thought that Negroes were animals. Racism can be thought of as something similar to prejudice but racism is the hatred of a particular race. Similar to racism is xenophobia. Xenophobia is the fear of anyone who is not from the same country as you are.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a story full of racial prejudices. Some of these prejudices could be when Tom was on trial they did not take his word and all the other opposing evidence; the jury simply believed Mayella. They did not believe Tom, not because Mayella had all the opposing evidence that could have convicted Tom, but because it was it went against the mores of Southern Americans to believe a black man over a white woman or anyone who was white during that last century and prior.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a story with prejudices towards Tom Robinson. In a perfect society as the white people wanted, Tom, along with every single other Negro, would have been lynched. Personally, I think that those white people who were being prejudiced towards Negroes were a reflection of themselves. They simply could not understand that all races are equal. White people believed that white supremacy is the only way to get a race to be perfect. To Kill a Mockingbird is based upon the fact that white people did not like Negroes.

White people thought Negroes to be of an extremely lower class. Negroes in a way also had there own class system. Being set in the s you could expect to have seen some prejudice. White Americans of the s did not like anyone who was not white.

To Kill A Mockingbird Racial Prejudice Essay. - GCSE English - Marked by riguttrepa.tk

This could be a reflection on the white peoples inhibitions and fears of Negroes. White people must have felt that Negroes should not have been involved in anything that white people were involved in. White supremacy in To Kill a Mockingbird is very prominent. Everyone thought that Negroes were trash and that the best that they could have done is to have gone and lived in a rubbish tip.

Ewell was the one exception to the white supremacy theory. Apart from being white he had, at the time, been considered a lower class white man, but even this was not as low as a Negro had been considered. He lived at the tip, had many children, was a single parent and lastly he could afford nothing. Prejudice against age is probably the most uncommon form of prejudice but it is still there.

People of the s considered the perfect age to be twenty-one — twenty-nine. Anyone who was older or younger than this would have been considered to be non pure. If you were considered non pure, in the view of people of the s, you were a Negro, but we all know that this is wrong. Age prejudice is not as common as gender prejudice but it is still common. Men were always considered superior to women. Moreover, to some extent they still are. Men thought that women could not do anything except for domestic duties, such as cooking, cleaning and looking after children.

For example, in the army there are numerous jobs that they will not let women do.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout is not thought of as a lady. Alexandra tries to make her into a lady. This can be seen on page when Alexandra was talking to Atticus about the way that Scout talks. White people always saw someone with a disability to be of lesser humanity or importance. Anyone who had a disability would be considered non-human, almost like they were a mutant. Just because of something, that was probably not their fault.

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ACTIV is a place where disabled people can go to work, when employers will not employ them. Based on this essay and the research I have done, I can say what is considered the lowest class possible. As before on the basis of my essay and my research I can say that if you were an elderly Negro woman who had a very poor background, with a disability of some sort or another, you would be considered the lowest form or life, but no one should be thinking this.

Despite the fact that prejudice means that you do not like another group or race, there is in fact some sort of relationship there. If there were no relationship whatsoever then the two groups would not know that the other one even existed. During the novel Jem and Scout, begin to like Boo as they begin taking his gifts out of the tree. Until the Civil War , Negroes had almost no rights.

They could be treated however anyone wanted to treat them. When the civil war ended, segregation laws were implemented.

This meant that Negroes had to be treated with respect and they had to be treated as if they were white, but this in itself is a prejudiced remark. There was no more having to get up off a seat on the bus to let a white person sit down Rosa Parks. Negroes were beginning to get the rights they deserve.

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To Kill A Mockingbird Racial Prejudice Essay.

It was still a long and arduous road but it was a step in the right direction. The prejudices in To Kill a Mockingbird and prejudice in any form, be it in a book, or even in real life, can be described as totally inhumane and pusillanimous.


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  • People have changed since the time that prejudice of Negroes was a common practice.

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