Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

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In the world people are always preconceived based on who they are or what they look like. Even though it isn’t as big of a problem in some areas as in others, we need to fight it. If we don’t then it will continue to get more serious and at times lead to death. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Alexandra tells her niece that she can’t play with a schoolmate simply because of his class. “‘You can scrub Walter Cunningham till he shines, you can put him in shoes and a new suit, but he’ll never be like Jem…Because—he—is—trash.’” (224). This prejudiced state of mind is the foundation for the plot events of the novel. By way of experiences, a young girl, Scout Finch, must learn about the part prejudice plays in the everyday life of …show more content…
Through her description of the church, Harper Lee allows you to know, without having to read any other section of the book, that the black people of Maycomb are of low class. The people of Maycomb are so prejudiced that they live in separate areas of the town from people who differ in social class.
Furthermore, there are two types of justice in Maycomb. There is formal justice, what the court or law decides, and informal justice, the decisions, or “verdicts”, the people of Maycomb make about other people. Both are often tacitly bound by a mindset of prejudice. When Jem is upset about the conviction of Tom Robinson, he asks his father how the jury could possibly do it, when he was obviously innocent. “‘I don’t know, but they did it. They’ve done it before and they did it tonight and they’ll do it again and when they do it—seems that only the children weep’” (213). Atticus means that only children become upset over a black man being convicted simply because of his race. While the older people are so accustomed to it that it is not even unexpected, let alone unsurprising. Likewise, informal justice is very hard for Scout to understand. She questions her father about why the Ewell children are allowed to skip school even though it is illegal. As Atticus explains it, “‘Sometimes it’s better to bend the law a little in special

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