• 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 'To Kill A Mocking Bird'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

This question is about Prejudice. Show how far the author convinces the reader that the prejudices of whites against blacks are beginning to lessen. Give reasons for your opinion. In your answer you should consider: * The incident outside the jail. * What Atticus tells Jem about the jury's verdict. * Anything else you think is important. In my opinion, the author, Harper Lee does convince the reader that the prejudiced and racist attitudes of the white Maycomb townspeople against the blacks, does begin to lessen towards the end of the novel, but only to a certain extent. Before the trial of Tom Robinson, the whites have already found him guilty, even before he had a chance to defend himself. However, after the trial, some of the white peoples' views begin to change, whereas some people in the novel still continued to show racial hatred. At the start of the novel, we aren't shown many black characters, apart from Calpurnia, and we aren't given a clear view of what the Maycomb residents opinions are of them. ...read more.

Middle

I just hope that Jem and Scout come to me for their answers instead of listening to the town". This comment shows that, because of peoples prejudices, Tom will be found guilty. Atticus takes a realistic view of the trial but he doesn't understand how people can't see past a person's skin colour and find the truth. He also worries that his children may be persecuted for his beliefs and that they don't adapt their neighbour's racist views. An important part of the novel were we are shown true racial hatred is in Chapter 15 when Tom Robinsons and even Atticus' life is put under threat. A Lynch mob, made up of farmers from Old Sarum, who live close to the Robinsons, go to Maycomb Prison to dispense their own form of vigilante justice. They want Tom Robinson killed, not only because they think that he was guilty, but also because they are so angry that the case even went to court as normally if a black person was involved, the case would have been dismissed. ...read more.

Conclusion

And we notice a change in other people's attitudes. Aunt Alexandra doesn't label a persons family because of their faults and becomes less prejudiced. However there are still some characters who continue to display prejudice views. The missionary circle tea group show such double standards. They sympathise with the poor Mruna tribe in Africa, but then go on to complain about their black servants for moping and being sad because of their dissatisfaction of the trial. And when Tom Robinson tries to escape he shot, not only once but seventeen times. The racist townspeople react to his death with disgust and apprehension. They say 'Typical of a nigger to cut and run' and 'Nigger always come out in them'. Comments and attitudes like this mean that change in Maycomb will be impossible. In conclusion, I do think that the author does convince the reader that some white's attitudes and prejudices against blacks are beginning to lessen. Yet, these partial changes of attitudes mean nothing until the whole community begin to assess their views so that justice can finally be done and so that another innocent man won't have the same fate as Tom Robinson. Patrick Fahy 11C ...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

    What Is The Importance Of "Atticus Finch" in "To Kill A Mocking Bird" by ...

    4 star(s)

    It is because of their colour that the black members of the very detached Maycomb community that are forced to sit on the tiny balcony in the courthouse and experience the thoughts, feelings and experiences that Miss Maudie did not wish to experience, by attending the trial and causing even more unnecessary commotion.

  2. To Kill a Mocking Bird: Atticus Finch

    trial with dignity and passion just shows how important he sees the role of being a lawyer is. In fact the way he goes about his career is very similar to the way he goes about life in general. His views and opinions shown outside the courthouse are shown in

  1. How effectively does Harper Lee convey her ideas about prejudice in her novel To ...

    more maturing Scout displaying how people should choose to act, and mature from prejudice. The fact that her audience were people from the 1960s, and there was prejudice and grudges against/towards black people as well as other forms of prejudice, for instance gender, equality in politics and employment, shows that

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    He has finally become a real person, completing the progression from monster to human; meanwhile, Mr. Ewell's evilness has turned him into a human monster, whose bristling facial stubble felt by Scout suggests an animal-like appearance. Chapter 30 Summary The doctor returns and everyone moves to the back porch, where

  1. The trial of Tom Robinson is a clear example of racial prejudice at work. ...

    Harper Lee uses prejudice on the behalf of Jem and Scout to emphasise how most of the white people reacted when they herd about the trial. Cecil Jacobs called Atticus a 'nigger lover' this only made Jem and Scout more cautious and understanding of the circumstances them and Atticus were in.

  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. To what extent does Harper Lee's Symbolism contribute to the overall effectiveness of To ...

    The mocking bird symbol appears repeatedly throughout the novel. It first appears in chapter 10 when Atticus gives the children air rifles and tells them that 'it's a sin to kill a mocking bird'. Later, when Atticus shoots the rabid dog in chapter 10 we are told that 'the mocking birds were silent'.

  2. Tom Robinson's trial is in many ways the central part of 'To kill a ...

    The amount of racism in Maycomb is shown slightly by the conversation that Aunt Alexandra has with her friends. It's very much based on the fact that the blacks should be grateful for what they have because they don't deserve it and they all think that the little that they are doing for the black people is far too much.

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