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To Kill a Mocking Bird - Prejudice

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Introduction

To Kill a Mocking Bird Speech We all know, don't we, that one of the issues in To Kill a Mocking Bird is racial prejudice - but what about social prejudice? How does Harper Lee add to our understanding of prejudice through the character of Boo Radley? How do we gain information about Boo through the language and eyes of Scout and Jem? How does Lee's language show us that Scout and Jem are both fearful yet enthralled by the nature of Boo? As we know, Jem and Scout feared the Radley House. Told to stay well away from the house, "inhabited by an unknown entity"1, they would walk on the other side of the road when passing. This is the first key incident, that Lee is able depict the strong prejudices through the character Boo. This is, as, few "had ever seen him"2, but still ready "to discard the initial suspicions"3. Calpurnia even commented on Boo's ways, "there goes the meanest man God ever blew breath into"4, proving to all of us the social prejudice in Maycomb. ...read more.

Middle

Consequently, Scout and Jem wonder why Boo remains inside. Scout, however, brought up by her father's point of view that all people are equal, is not able to understand that "If they (the folks) are all alike why do they have to go out of their way to despise each other"13. But Jem realizes that Boo "wants to stay inside"14. Demonstrating to us that Lee, through the attitudes of Jem and Scout increases our perspective on prejudice. A second episode of language shaping the meaning is at the end of the novel. Lee uses a cumulation of images and dramatic contrast, "two soap dolls, a broken watch and a chain ... and our lives"15, showing the significance of life and death to Jem and Scout. Present participles, "dragging ... waiting ... enacting"16, demonstrating a passage of time, and past participles, "stopped ... delighted ... puzzled"17 giving a sense of movement. More so, changing the specific tone to enigmatic style, giving a sense of wonder and mystery. ...read more.

Conclusion

1960 - Page 9 4 Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960- page 13 5 Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960- page 62 6http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/LitRC?ADVSF1=To+Kill+a+Mocking+Bird&ADVST1=TI&ASB1=AND&ADVSF2=Harper+Lee&ADVST2=NA&ASB2=AND&ADVSF3=&ADVST3=NA&DT=Criticism_select&UZ=&vrsn=3&locID=trinitygrammar_s&srchtp=adv&ste=69&tbst=asrch 7Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 - page 38 8Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 - page 65 9http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/LitRC?ADVSF1=To+Kill+a+Mocking+Bird&ADVST1=TI&ASB1=AND&ADVSF2=Harper+Lee&ADVST2=NA&ASB2=AND&ADVSF3=&ADVST3=NA&DT=Criticism_select&UZ=&vrsn=3&locID=trinitygrammar_s&srchtp=adv&ste=69&tbst=asrch 10 Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 - page 33 11 Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 - Page 59 12 http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/mocking/characters.html 13 Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 - Page 251 14 Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 - Page 251 15 Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 - Page 307 16 Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 - Page 307 17 Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 - Page 307 18 Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 - Page 308 19 Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 - Page 306 20 Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 - Page 307 21http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/LitRC?ADVSF1=To+Kill+a+Mocking+Bird&ADVST1=TI&ASB1=AND&ADVSF2=Harper+Lee&ADVST2=NA&ASB2=AND&ADVSF3=&ADVST3=NA&DT=Criticism_select&UZ=&vrsn=3&locID=trinitygrammar_s&srchtp=adv&ste=69&tbst=asrch 22 Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 - Page 33 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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