Essay on Prejudice to Kill a Mockingbird

1004 Words Jun 20th, 2012 5 Pages
Prejudice denotes a prejudgment and negative opinion formed without adequate knowledge or justification. Individuals who are prejudicial are often biased and act unfavourably to other groups, particularly those of differing race and socio-economic status. Ideas and themes about prejudice are strongly evoked through Harper Lee’s 1960 novel “To Kill a Mocking-bird” and the poem “The Child” by Valerie Church. “To Kill a Mocking-bird” explores the prejudices associated with the coloured and underprivileged community group in a small town of the central Alabama which contrasts to the simplistic nature of a mentally-disabled boy in “The Child”. Through the juxtaposition of ideas conveyed in both texts, audiences are confronted with a greater …show more content…
As the salient theme within the text, “To Kill a Mocking-bird” highlights the dire impact of radical prejudice and the disparity between members of difference races within 1960’s America.
Another aspect of prejudice which is presented within the “To Kill a Mockingbird”, is the importance of socio-economic class which connotes an individual’s standing within a community. Within the text, the town of Maycomb is divided into three distinct socio-economic classes from the well respected white working class, the “white trash” to the African American community. The classes are about the same as each other as they have the same type of people in each, the good and the bad. Scout soon realises, “there’s just one kind of folks. Folks”. Even the children in Maycomb are aware of the socio-economic class between the groups of people in the town. It is most noticed on the first day Scout went to school; Walter did not bring his lunch and Miss Caroline tried to lend him a quarter. As the Cunninghams did not borrow what they could not lend back, Walter refused and Miss Caroline became frustrated until Scout responded with “he’s a Cunningham” which reveals even adolescents in the community actively categorise individuals into stereotypes. Lee has used the freedom of the black community to portray a small town’s reaction to their freedom. Those from the black community fortunate enough to have an education were well respected as they had good jobs compared to the rest of the

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