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

The theme of prejudice in To kill a mocking bird

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Prejudice, the word, can be split up into two other words for a greater understanding of what the question is actually asking, i.e. pre- and -judge. To pre-judge someone is to be prejudiced In the novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird', prejudice is portrayed to the reader in different ways in order to send across a message or an idea the author has. As well as being able to understand meanings behind the novel, Harper Lee has included prejudice so that the reader is able to understand the historical details in the book, for example; the effects of the civil war (1861-1865) upon the USA and the effects towards black people. Harper Lee may also use prejudice to give people a 'feeling of reality', so the readers feel as if they were present at the time period the book was written in. The author could also be telling us that the whole concept of prejudice, is everywhere in society, whether it is in the time period when the novel was written or today. The way in which Harper Lee gets her messages through to the readers is by giving examples of extreme prejudice throughout the entire novel. One example of prejudice that Harper Lee included in the novel did include racism towards coloured people, but it was prejudice against whole groups of people. ...read more.

Middle

I also think that here, the author is trying to speculate how judgmental and narrow - minded, not only children, but adults can be by calling him "different". When the residents of Maycomb call someone different, the reader is lead to think that the "different" character just does not think or act like the other citizens of Maycomb, and therefore they are goals for prejudice. Harper Lee also suggests to the reader, to be judgmental of a character of Boo Radley's nature is expected of not only residents in Maycomb, but in general it is human nature. Even though a fair majority of the Maycomb residents are severely prejudice, there are a few people who look beneath the surface of different individuals and groups. For example, Atticus. Even though Atticus does make comments about being "common" this character is presented in the novel to be wise understanding of most situations. He does not judge anyone by their race, religion, views or anything else that makes them different. He does not seem to be in favour the racist attitudes in Maycomb and sees them be like a "disease". From understanding the context the word is used in, Harper Lee proposes to the reader that the prejudice in Maycomb spreads from one character to another. Miss Maudie also has some non- prejudiced views by saying that she is proud of "those people in this town who say that fair play is not marked white only." ...read more.

Conclusion

Atticus knew that although he was going to defend Tom Robinson to the best of his abilities, he would not be able to succeed due to the prejudice the town showed against coloured people. Harper Lee included aspects like the reaction of Mrs Dubose towards Atticus working for a black man to show how extreme people's views were back in the beginning half of the 20th century, therefore she is able to show the reader what it could have been like if they were a person of different race. But as well as racism in Maycomb, there was prejudice against others who were just simply 'different'. Overall, Harper Lee is trying to show the reader the reality of life, in the time period the novel was set. But one thing that I think Harper Lee was also trying to put across to the reader that reactions like this can take place anywhere there is a negative reaction to something different. She did this by adding prejudice in the first place, but also discussing it with the reader by using example of different people and then seeing reactions of the narrow- minded residents in Maycomb. I think that Harper Lee was trying to discuss the theme of prejudice by making it obvious to the reader how easily it can occur and how wrong it can be- ending up taking the lives of innocent people. How does the author discuss the theme of prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird? Simran Sidhu 1 cw TKAM ...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)

    has devastating consequences on their children, specifically Arthur Radley who is seen as a "malevolent phantom" hence his nickname Boo. Through Scout's narration, one ascertains that as a teenager, Boo entangled himself with the "wrong crowd of people". The group was described to be "the closest thing to a gang

  2. Marked by a teacher

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

    4 star(s)

    He is courageous, which Bob Ewell is not. In reaction to Tom's death, Aunt Alexandra appears upset, which I find quite remarkable, due to her attitude towards black people, especially Calpurnia at the beginning of the novel. By having Calpurnia around the house to help with the children and housework, Aunt Alex has probably unconsciously learnt not to

  1. To Kill a Mocking Bird: Atticus Finch

    He most likely sees his job as a bit of a challenge. But, in my opinion Atticus is someone who likes a challenge. He wants to prove to Maycomb County that just because someone has accused a coloured man of a crime, it does not mean they have committed it.

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    Dill points out that Atticus isn't like that. A sympathetic voice behind them agrees that it makes him sick too - they turn to see Mr. Dolphus Raymond. Analysis Tom's crippled state is more than just a plot device, but also serves as an emblem for his disadvantage in life as a black man.

  1. I am going to write about the two main problems in Maycomb society which ...

    This is an extremely low amount for a weeks wage especially for all the work that housekeepers are made to do. Zeebo, Calpurnia's son, is the garbage collector. He was the one that had to do the dirty job of cleaning away the dead mad dog.

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

    When it healed, and Jem's fears of never being able to play football were assuaged, he was seldom self-conscious about his injury." (To Kill a Mocking Bird, P.3) It is interesting to note that both novels begin with a memory from childhood referring to a dreadful time and show the

  1. To Kill a Mocking Bird Continuation.

    Mayella straight after her display of emotions begins her story which starts by highlighting that she addressed Tom Robinson as nigger and requested that he should come and "bust up a chifferobe" for her to produce wood for the fire 'kindling'.

  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