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The novel To Kill a Mockingbird somewhat demonstrates that prejudice is too strongly engraved in society for any one person to make a difference.

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Introduction

The novel To Kill a Mockingbird somewhat demonstrates that prejudice is too strongly engraved in society for any one person to make a difference. The novel portrays the events leading up to, and the results of a case in which a black man, Tom Robinson, is falsely accused and convicted of the rape of a white girl. The story is told through the eyes of Jean Louise (Scout) Finch as she reminisces about her childhood at the age of about six. Scout recognizes through the course of the novel that there are many prejudices facing society and that most members of the community happily and openly accept the injustice caused through these prejudices. Racial, sexual and social prejudices are exhibited in the novel, although the racial and social prejudices are those of the most fundamental significance to the outcome of the novel, as it is these prejudices that define the differences between life in Alabama in the 1930's, where the novel is set, and other places in America at the time. At this time, there was great international economic depression, which caused people to be very uneasy about change. This made people particularly uneasy about accepting anything that may further dampen their economic state, and so they were not likely to change their views about social classes. ...read more.

Middle

Because of the injustice and lack of understanding in society, Boo is not well received and therefore people speak cruelly of him and make up many rumors that tell of just how inhumane Boo supposedly is. This illustrates that the people of Maycomb County are unable to accept people that are different or are non-conformers. We find near the end of the novel that the reason Boo chooses to live such a solitarily and secluded life is because he does not wish to endure or be forced to accept society's unfair and unjust beliefs. He will not associate with people on their terms if their terms result in the unfair treatment of a class of society. It is primarily for this reason that Boo is seen as a mockingbird; he will not accept the unfair and immoral attitudes of those around him and so secludes himself from them. Jem and Scout take an interest to Boo's way of life, yet they do not aim or wish to torment him for it. It is this that separates the children from the rest of society; the community condemns Boo for his way of life without a thought of why he might live the way he does, they simply believe that because he will not follow what they believe to be the normal way for a man to live, he must be bizarre and dangerous. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mr Heck Tate, the county sheriff, was also affected by Atticus's views to a degree, and during the court room scene of the novel it was clear to see that the judge was in some ways agreeing with Atticus. Through the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, it is clear to see that prejudice is engraved into society strongly in Maycomb County, it is apparent, however, that one man is predominantly responsible for altering the views of several people, which is a small step to take to changing the views of society. The fact that Atticus Finch chose to actively defend Tom Robinson in a case that all white lawyers would be expected to dismiss demonstrates that the barriers between social classes were not to strong to be broken, just that courage was needed to break them. The barriers between the levels of society were created and were held in place by the prejudice members of society, and it took a very strong, moral and courageous man to begin to break them down, whilst at the end of the novel it is apparent that a large degree of prejudice still exists in society, the effects of a challenge against the inequalities and prejudices are beginning to be felt. Lucy Martin, E05 To Kill a Mockingbird Essay: Choice Two Year 11 English 2002 ...read more.

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