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

Discuss the way Harper Lee explores the theme of racial prejudice in her novel.

Extracts from this document...


? To Kill A Mockingbird? Task: Discuss the way Harper Lee explores the theme of racial prejudice in her novel. In your essay you should examine where the novel is set, the plot and the characters. "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee was written in the 1960's. At this time there was a lot of racism around and I think that the author wrote this book to show that racism is wrong. This novel tells the story of a black mans court trail in a racist community. It is also about two white children, Jem and Scout living in this community. Harper Lee uses many techniques such as setting, plot and character to explore the theme of racial prejudice. One way the author explores the theme of racial prejudice is through the setting of the novel. "To Kill A Mockingbird" is set in a fictional town in Alabama called Maycomb. ...read more.


Atticus is a well-respected white man. He is tolerant and understanding but sometimes too trusting. In the trial Atticus defends a black man called Tom Robinson. He also respects his black maids views and values her opinion. This shows he is not a racist as he treats the blacks as just as he treats the whites. He has two children, Jem and Scout who tries to teach that "its better to use your head than your fists". He also frequently tells them "you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view- until you climb into his skin and walk around in it". Atticus is presented as the type of character that we should look up to and respect his views. Most of the whites in the town are racist, especially the Ewells. One racist character is Aunt Alexandra. ...read more.


She treats everyone equally, black or white and is able to see from others points of view. She is also presented in a good light so the readers value her views on life and think that everyone should be equal. The author also tries to prove that people can change their racist ways by using character. She does this through the newspaper editor, Mr B.B. Underwood. At the beginning of the book he is very racist and will not even work near a black person. But towards the end he writes an article about Tom Robinson's death saying it was "a senseless slaughter of songbirds". All the black characters in this novel are presented in a good light. They all seem to be friendly, neat and hardworking. There is only one unwelcoming black character in the novel. The white characters such as Atticus and Miss Madie that are put in a good light all seem to be non-racist characters that treat everyone equally. I think this is how Harper Lee promotes the idea in which racism is wrong. ...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. How effectively does Harper Lee convey her ideas about prejudice in her novel To ...

    folks aren't assembled into smaller groups but as one collective group - this quote demonstrates racial as well as social prejudice. The last quote being 'There's four kinds of folks in the world. There's the ordinary kind like us and the neighbours, there's the kind like the Cunninghams out in

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    They are concerned that the "Sarum bunch" will get up to some trouble, though Atticus thinks they won't do anything (such as a lynching) on a Sunday night. Mr. Link Deas says that Atticus has everything to lose from the trial, but Atticus says that he wants the truth to come out.

  1. Would you agree that Harper Lee and Alice Walker have created strong, morally stable ...

    Bob Ewell, Mayella's father was able to persecute Tom because of class status. The Finches stand near the top of Maycomb's social hierarchy. The Ewells rest below the infamous Cunninghams but the black people lye even lower than this. Bob Ewell is making up for his own lack of social importance by tormenting Tom Robinson.

  2. Explore the theme of prejudice in

    their pretty home, with trees and shrubs and glebe, for a narrow, dusty house in a long, straight, and their fine peal of bells for the wretchedest one-tongued clangour that ever tortured mortal ears". The move from the quaint attractive village to the dusty streets of London was appropriate as

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