• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Analyse and Compare the Portrayal of Prejudice In the Novel and the Film ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’.

Extracts from this document...


AMY WOODWARD ANALYSE AND COMPARE THE PORTRAYAL OF PREJUDICE IN THE NOVEL AND THE FILM 'TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD'. To Kill a Mocking Bird is set in the Deep South, Alabama, during the years 1933 -1935. The social context of this period is the theme that pervades this novel and is important and relevant to almost everything that occurs. Farming states of the south were suffering drought and failing crops and there was poverty everywhere due to economic collapse and the great Wall Street crash of 1929. At the beginning of the novel the great social deprivation that followed the crash is seen in the typical lives of the people in the typical town of Maycomb. The capitalist system has failed and many people left destitute, and with failed crops and starvation creeping over the country it was a truly terrible time in rural areas. The Great Depression also heralded great social upheaval creating a restless working class. People lost the security of a settled social hierarchy when everything was thrown into turmoil, and the social structure disintegrated. One of the main characters in the story, Scout, a white girl, describes her small, sleepy town at the height of the Depression: "Maycomb was a tired old town, even in 1932 when I first knew it. Somehow, it was hotter then. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. ...read more.


The Cunninghams are country folks, farmers. The crash hit them the hardest. Throughout the novel the gender prejudice of this era is shown through the relationship between Scout and her older brother Jem. "Scout, I'm telling you for the last time, shut your trap or go home - I declare to the Lord you're getting more like a girl everyday." Jem uses Scout's gender as an insult, almost like blackmail. Prejudice is about irrational contempt and hatred for what someone is and also about the power of one person over another. This is a good example of contempt for the female sex showing itself in children. This language is reflected also in the film but it is doubtful that many viewers in the 1950s, or readers in the 1930s, would even notice such prejudice since it was accepted that that was the way things were. Another important thread in the film concerns Boo Radley, a social outcast along with his family, who inspires fear and around whom the children weave fantasies. Jem: There goes the meanest man that ever took a breath of life. Dill: Why is he the meanest man? Jem: Well, for one thing, he has a boy named Boo that he keeps chained to a bed in the house over yonder...See, he lives over there. Boo only comes out at night when you're asleep and it's pitch-dark. When you wake up at night, you can hear him. ...read more.


WW II not only brought war to America, but also prosperity. Many blacks were eventually involved in the war effort, either internally or externally. But even in the North black assimilation into military ranks was difficult throughout the war. Ironically, they were segregated in order to fight racism in Europe. Although their presence was in segregated units, blacks proved that they were worthy soldiers in battle. When they returned from WWII, they enjoyed a new found respect from their fellow neighbours. The book caught the mood of the moment and it seemed to help whites to understand the situation they had created with blacks in the community. However, in some places the novel was banned and censored because many people felt strongly that blacks had to be kept in their place and that place was subject to whites. However, it made accessible the black experience to many whites - much more than ever before. Black people probably saw more of the moral significance in the story and it might well have influenced many young people to take part in the civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King in the early 1960s. In comparing the film and book and the portrayal of the social prejudices we can see that the film puts greater emphasis on the Civil Rights issues whereas the book is more a personal story against the background of the time, where prejudice and oppression were routine. The film concentrates on the characters that will illustrate to greater effect the prejudices it wants to raise. Despite the difference in emphasis both book and film have become classics. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harper Lee essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    To Kill a Mocking Bird. In this essay, I will explore the ways in ...

    5 star(s)

    One must appreciate that it is through Scout's innocence that the reader is able to acknowledge the Cunninghams' high sense of moral goodness as she is na�ve to the towns' predicaments. Due to Scout being young, Mr Cunningham disperses the mob as he does not want to corrupt her innocent mentality with violence and hatred.

  2. Analyse the trial scene and its relationship to the rest of the novel To ...

    showing how the prejudice shown in the trial by the adults has shocked him and change his view of fairness. The most prominent theme in the book is prejudice, shown in very different ways along the story, mainly in the trial scene.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    Ewell shows a lack of understanding for the ultimate possibility for evil inherent in some people. Jem is unsure whether people can be trusted to serve on juries, based on the jury that served in Tom's case, and Atticus points out some of the factors that make juries less than ideal.

  2. “Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear ...

    However, it is Atticus' determination to win this case that causes problems in the community. From 109-32 BC a man called Atticus lived in Rome. He escaped to Greece during the Roman Civil War and refused to join either side.

  1. To Kill a Mocking Bird Continuation.

    lying so he resorts to one thing that he knows he can do the ensure that he gains the approvement of the jury which is to touch on racism towards Tom Robinson , showing great emotions that misleadingly project him as an outraged loving father who is angry as his daughter was assaulted.

  2. Compare and contrast how the role of childhood is presented in the novels To ...

    Cholly, their father, is a dominating force in the family, but in a more menacing way and he takes little to do with the children having no example to follow himself, as his own father had abandoned his mother. The Finch family, by contrast, is led by Atticus because the children's mother is dead.

  1. The Presentation of Women in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

    Calpurnia, the coloured cook who lives with the Finch family and Miss Maudie, who is like a best friend to the children. Scout grows up with Calpurnia, and although they do not really get on at first, by the end of the novel Scout looks up to Cal.

  2. Write about 'the simple hell people give other people' in the classic novel, set ...

    I asked. 'Boo Radly. You were so busy looking at the fire you didn't know it when he put the blanket around you.' My stomach turned to water and I nearly threw up when Jem held out the blanket and crept toward me.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work