Theme Of Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird

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It is in human’s nature to judge another at first sight with the help of prejudices. Prejudices, preconceived negative opinions of others based on irrelevant attributes, are life-changing. This reality throws families apart and innocent lives away as society categorizes individuals into subjective stereotypes that cast negative lights on honorable people. Harper Lee embraces this theme in her novel To Kill A Mockingbird, which is set in the 1930’s. Lee marks the growth of the children of a white lawyer as he defends a black man in court in the small southern town of Maycomb, Alabama. The black man is falsely accused of raping a white girl, and both he and his lawyer are vilified. The prejudicial theme of racism and segregation is evident in …show more content…
The black man’s greatest ally, Atticus, is the subject of a range of verbal offenses emanating from his family, friends, and strangers alike. The kids at Scout and Jem’s school are among the offenders: “…the school buzzed with talk about (Atticus) defending Tom Robinson, none of which was complimentary” (Lee 89). These kids, who are too young to know or care much about law and legislature, must then get their information and opinions about Atticus from their parents. Therefore, these average civilians must have some very strong prejudices to insult Atticus, a man who is always kind and respectful, because he is defending a black man in court. The racism in the town does not stop at the citizens, but it also extends to close family. Every year, Atticus and his children go to the Finch’s Landing to celebrate Christmas with the Finch family. While the adults and Jem converse, Scout is left to talk with Francis, her eight year old cousin who is “the most boring child I ever met” (Lee 81). Francis engages the topic of Atticus with Scout: “Grandma says it’s bad enough he lets you all run wild, but now he’s turned out a nigger-lover we’ll never be able to walk the streets of Maycomb agin. He’s ruinin’ the family, that’s what he’s doin’ ” (Lee 83). Francis’ grandmother, the source of his insight, is Atticus’ sister, Aunt Alexandra. As the court case continues, she …show more content…
Despite the fact that Bob Ewell won the trial on paper, the public knows that he was lying. Therefore, Mr. Ewell figures he needs to make a comeback, so he threatens and assaults Atticus: “… Atticus was leaving the post office when Mr. Ewell approached him, cursed him, spat on him, and threatened to kill him” (Lee 217). The lawyer gladly receives the assailment since he knows that Bob has to take his anger out on someone, and he would rather be the victim instead of Bob’s daughter, Mayella. Mr. Finch is of the mindset that Mr. Ewell is satisfied with the statement he makes, but Atticus could not be further from the truth. When Mr. Robinson is brutally murdered, Bob Ewell declares “… it made one down and about two more to go” (Lee 241). Seeing as Bob is vile to the point of sending an innocent man to his death, he would never meet someone such as Atticus in an honest fight. Instead, he degrades to such an extreme that he attempts to kill Scout and Jem to get back at Atticus for defending Tom. Mr. Ewell stalks the children home in the dark after a Halloween pageant. He knocks Jem unconscious after breaking his arm, and he slashes a pocket knife at Scout that is thwarted due to the wire in her costume. Boo Radley, a shy but protective neighbor towards the kids, comes to their rescue and kills Mr. Ewell with a kitchen knife. Boo then carries Jem home. Heck Tate, the

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