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

Prejudice In Harper Lee’s Novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

PREJUDICE IN HARPER LEE'S NOVEL, "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD" To kill a Mocking Bird's prominent theme is prejudice and the novel as a whole seems to be a reliable and unexaggerated portrait of southern Americans' prejudice in the first half of the last century. The author, Harper Lee, used Maycomb as the setting for the book (an invented county which seems far from the typical idealistic and picturesque American society pictured in fantasy) and the character Atticus as fictional portrayals of real places and people at the time. For example, Maycomb is actually a replica of Monroeville, and Lee's father was a lawyer by profession. Monroeville was Harper Lee's hometown and this gave her reason to know the society well. The people of Monroeville and other places in southern American districts recognised themselves and can identify the part that they played in the society, of which we learn a lot in the first section of the book, that existed at the time. This illustrates the connection between the society in the 1930s and the fictional narrative. The novel really is based on history. Having the book so accurate, the author can then hit the reader with more impact and can express her views on prejudice and discrimination with stronger force and more focus. ...read more.

Middle

When Scout and Jem go to visit, it is frowned upon by Aunt Alexandra. The segregation is shown here when Scout and Jem arrive at the church as the crowds part to let them through first. The blacks are also segregated in the courtroom as they sit in the balcony further away from the court scene. It shows the reader how the prejudice is blatant in society. This is how it would have been in southern America in the 1930�s. When Scout asks if she may visit Calpurnia, her Aunt rules rejects bluntly, without an explanation but by saying 'You may not�. This implies that Aunt Alexandra is prejudice towards Calpurnia and her shortness and the tone that she projects to the reader also suggests this. Aunty Alexandra says "She is trash!" referring to Calpurnia. However, the blacks and whites do not know any better. For centuries, blacks had been used and exploited, and it is second nature for the whites to discriminate against them. There is also sexual prejudice in 'To Kill a Mocking Bird�, for example Scout has to wear a dress to school and has to accompany the ladies of Maycomb for their weekly gathering. ...read more.

Conclusion

Atticus throughout the book teaches it to his children and says 'You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them� this is what Atticus tells his children, it is a good moral to live by. The reader has to stop and rethink back to the beginning of the book when Jem�s arm broke to understand the connections of how the enclosed community of Maycomb could be so narrow minded and how someone could attack another adult's children. The reader also reconsiders why Boo Radley never wanted to come out, giving you a different perspective to wards the book and the inhabitants of Maycomb. The novel depicts many aspects of prejudice and racism, and we can see how often the most honest and admirable people are mockingbirds. The problame is how often they get shot, when all they do is good. By writing the book, the author raises awareness of the prejudice that was in Southern America. We learn that prejudice is aimed at minorities and often people who are only slightly different. Women, coloured people and people who attempt to protect black people are all treated with minimal respect and are affected by prejudice every day. After all this, the locals dare say that "It's a sin to kill a mockingbird"... ...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

    Examine the nature of prejudice in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. Are there any signs ...

    4 star(s)

    the jail-house before the trial; "In ones and twos, men got out of the cars. Shadows became substance as light revealed solid shapes moving towards the jail door. Atticus remained where he was"........... " 'You know what we want', another man said.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Examine the different kinds of prejudice and injustice which you have found in 'To ...

    4 star(s)

    "Atticus says cheatin' a coloured man is ten times worse than cheatin' a white man... Says it's the worst thing you can do." As a result of this the family are ostracised and criticized by certain members of the community because it is uncommon behaviour and society in Maycomb are ignorant to this manner of conduct.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Essay on Prejudice

    created equal and that they should not discriminate against people who are different. In other words Atticus is doing his best in eliminating the prejudice that lies in the hearts of the members of the jury. Miss Maudie is another character in the novel who believes in equality.

  2. How does Harper Lee present Maycomb in "To kill a Mockingbird"?

    Another racist part in the trial is the way Mayella Ewell's lawyer speaks to Tom Robinson on the courtroom. He speaks to Tom rudely, disrespectfully, and calls him "boy" which is questioning his masculinity as a man. Tom Robinson is a very nice person who is presented positively as a

  1. Throughout To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee explores the different forms of prejudice present ...

    Boo Radley (the recluse in the neighbourhood) is labelled as a "malevolent phantom" because he is not seen outside his home. It is not enough for Maycomb society just to leave him alone; instead he is the object of rumours and games.

  2. To kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee uses the mockingbird theme with both ...

    This passage of text shows he is harmless and doesn't want to hurt Mayella. It also about his immaculate manners, which Scout previously compared to Atticus'. But the way in which he was killed trying a last ditch attempt to escape when he was shot in 'cold blood'.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    Atticus reluctantly takes up the gun and shoots the dog. The dog crumples into a heap. Jem is dumbstruck. Miss Maudie tells the children that their father used to be known as "One-Shot Finch," the best dead-shot in the county.

  2. What important lessons do the children learn in Part I of 'To Kill a ...

    When Atticus starts to defend Tom Robinson, Scout starts to get things said to her at school, like Cecil Jacobs says, 'that Scout Finch's daddy defended niggers.' Scout, not knowing what he means, asks Atticus. He explains that he is defending Tom Robinson, and it is because 'every lawyer gets

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