Racism And Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird

Superior Essays
Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel that explores themes of intolerance, racism, and prejudice. These themes are often portrayed through the actions of the main characters, their interactions with others, and their experiences. Of all the seamlessly intertwined plotlines, the story of Boo Radley and the Tom Robinson trial were the most impactful on these characters. Boo Radley, a proclaimed “mockingbird”, was rumored to be an isolated criminal throughout the town of Maycomb but was really an introvert who sought to escape the evils of the world. Tom Robinson, another “mockingbird”, was a good man who was wrongly convicted of raping a white woman. Both characters were, in some way or another, defended by Atticus Finch and oppressed …show more content…
Bob Ewell’s cowardliness was supported by his attack on Atticus’ children in a last attempt to undermine him. Between pages 350 and 352, Bob Ewell tries to murder Scout and Jem but is stopped when Boo Radley kills him while defending the kids. Because he chose to attack the children rather than directly confront Atticus, Bob Ewell is a coward. He knew that Atticus was a respected and worthy figure in the town, so he was intimidated by him. However, he knew that by attacking the children, he could undermine Atticus. The Tom Robinson case also reminds the reader that Bob Ewell is racist. On page 231, Ewell testifies in court with a series of false accusations, insignificant evidence, and offensive language towards Tom Robinson. The ordeal suggests that not only is Ewell racist, but he’s also cowardly for covering up his own acts by blaming someone more unfortunate than him. Bob Ewell indirectly caused an innocent black man’s death solely because he felt he needed to remain superior to him in the social caste system of Maycomb. Lastly, his eldest daughter, Mayella, unintentionally revealed his abusive tendencies during her testimony. When asked about her father, Mayella stated “He does tollable, ‘cept when . . . Except when nothin’. I said he does tollable.” (245). After Atticus suggests that Bob Ewell is abusive while drunk, it is …show more content…
Atticus Finch’s goodness is supported by his tolerant, open-minded, and fair attitude while Bob Ewell represents evil with his cowardly, ignorant, and abusive traits. Overall, these characters have worked together for decades to educate the reader on the effects of intolerance, racism, and

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