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

Throughout To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee explores the different forms of prejudice present in Maycomb society be it prejudice against women (sexism), racial prejudice or prejudice against anyone who chooses not to adhere to social expectations.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Analyse how a theme or idea in the text is relevant to real life. 'Prejudice cannot see the things that are because it is always looking for things that aren't.' Throughout To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee explores the different forms of prejudice present in Maycomb society - be it prejudice against women (sexism), racial prejudice or prejudice against anyone who chooses not to adhere to social expectations. Through Scout Finch's innocent, unfiltered eyes we see the prejudice in Maycomb for what it truly is: extremely unjust. Lee's fictional town of Maycomb reflects our own society, and therefore these ideas are highly relevant to real life. To Kill a Mockingbird illustrates how far society has come from the 1930s in our struggle to overcome prejudice in all forms, but it also serves the purpose of showing us that change towards a less prejudiced society is still needed. Maycomb is controlled by rigid sexism and gender rules, which Scout Finch is perplexed by. ...read more.

Middle

The social class system in Maycomb deems blacks to be the lowest class level of society, and due to this, blacks are treated as inferior. Throughout the novel the black people are referred to as "niggers" and anyone who shows them any kindness, such as Atticus, "nigger lovers". Lee clearly illustrates the racial prejudice in Maycomb through Tom Robinson (a black man wrongly accused of the rape of a white girl). The fact that Atticus (who is Tom's lawyer) realises he has no chance of defending Tom in court because it would be a miracle for "any jury decide in favour of a coloured man over a white man", offers the most explicit indicator of the entrenched racism in Maycomb. Atticus believes that "in court all men are equal" but he knows that "people have a way of carrying their resentments right into the jury box." When the jury convicts a clearly innocent Tom, it illustrates to the reader that "the evil assumption that all Negros are basically immoral beings" was unable to be overcome by the all white jury. ...read more.

Conclusion

This idea is relevant to real life because it teaches us not to make preconceived judgements about others based on rumours we've heard about them. This is something that most us do without even thinking about it, so Lee teaches us "to consider things from [other people's] point of view". She shows us that once we "climb into [other's] skin and walk around it" we will be able to realise that "most people are nice...when we finally see them." Overall, Lee explores many forms of prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird. She shows us how prejudice against women, racial prejudice and prejudice in general are all 'evils' in Maycomb society. These ideas are particularly relevant to real life because they are 'evils' that are present in our own society too. Lee shows the reader how far we have progressed in our fight against prejudice, but she also illustrates how far we still have to go. Change starts with one person, and she persuades each reader to let that person be them. ...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

    Explore how Harper Lee presents the theme of prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird.(TM)

    4 star(s)

    This character created by Harper Lee takes a completely different view point to that of Atticus and therefore can have totally contrasting opinions. Aunt Alexandra is a lady who 'given the chance would exercise royal prerogative,' as she believes in being well-bred and mannered.

  2. Peer reviewed

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

    4 star(s)

    They are patronising and condescending of black people while they profess to care such a great deal for them but the women in Alexandra's missionary circle hold the same prejudices of the black community as most of Maycomb and most of the South of the United States.

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

    For example, a white slave masters' views could influence generations and communities whilst a black slave because of his experience could influence his/her family, the black community- this would cause a division between the two races leading to stereotypes. These family/community beliefs and traditions eventually resulted in prejudice.

  2. What impressions are there of life in Maycomb in "To Kill a Mockingbird"

    "I tell you there's nothing more distracting than a sulky darky...Jesus Christ never went around grumbling and complaining...I tell you, Gertrude, you never ought to let an opportunity go by to witness for the Lord." Outsiders who come into Maycomb are not very welcome.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Racial Prejudice Essay.

    This is a brilliant way that Harper Lee shows how nothing in this novel is certain as Scout and Francis are related but share different views on the subject of racism. Other instances of racial prejudice involve white men gambling and drinking in the 'First Purchase' church that is owned

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    She says he doesn't shoot unless he has to, because he feels that, when he holds a gun, God has given him an unfair advantage over living beings. Scout wants to tell everyone in school, but Jem tells her not to, because he says that he wouldn't care if Atticus "couldn't do a blessed thing," because Atticus is a gentleman.

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

    Whilst most of the novel is fictional Harper Lee lived in Monroeville, Alabama which is just like Maycomb. In "To kill a Mockingbird", Scout is the narrator. This is so the reader can see how bad life in nineteen-thirties America and how bad Maycomb is through the eyes of an innocent child.

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

    But the truth is that aunt Alexandra doesn't want scout to go because Calpurnia is black therefore her family is not trusted with scout in their care. When Tom is being asked question during his testimony by Mr Gilmer he finishes them with 'boy'.

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