Prejudice In Harper Lee's Maycomb County

1033 Words 5 Pages
Sally Kang
Trecker
HSE 2 - Per. 3
8 December 2017
Prejudice in Maycomb County Prejudice has always been one of the most immense social problems in society. In the past, it was considered unconventional to show affection towards the black community. Harper Lee examined this axiom about 60 years ago in her novel To Kill A Mockingbird. This story takes place in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama during The Great Depression, where African Americans desperately struggle to find jobs, and survive through racial segregation. One of the main characters, Tom Robinson, an innocent black father that lives with his wife and kids, is accused of raping a young white girl, Mayella Ewell. This young lady tries to obscure the fact that she has feelings for
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Jem comes to Atticus with curiosity after the court trial on why Tom Robinson was found to be guilty. Not being able to accept the verdict, Atticus explains to him, “There’s something in our world that makes men lose their heads-they couldn't be fair if they tried. In our courts, when 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” (Lee 295). Discrimination against the black community is the conventional mentality. Whites are considered to be at a higher power on the social hierarchy than black people that they are considered worthless and evil. Atticus tells Jem that no matter how hard people tried to treat everyone equally, a white man will always be at a higher power than a black man. Atticus reinforces this idea when Jem still can’t fathom in why society is so prejudiced. Atticus teaches him what he will later experience in life by telling him, “As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men everyday of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t forget it-whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash” (Lee 295). Unlike the conventional mentality of poor, useless people being considered “trash”, Atticus defines this word as those who do not have good morals and are essentially bad people. He conveys the …show more content…
The unfair treatment Tom Robinson received of very few people believing in his innocence symbolizes discrimination, racial segregation, and society in general. Prejudice against blacks in the 1930’s was the way of life in American society. However, prejudice and discrimination still exists in today’s society. Not only is it based on race, but their overlook, religion, gender, and ethnicity. Harper Lee demonstrates that society should not judge others by who or what they are classified as, but to judge them based on their personality and

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