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To Kill a Mockingbird: GCSE Coursework

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Introduction

To Kill a Mockingbird: GCSE Coursework By Michael Skuse 10Wi2 The theme of prejudice is central to the novel. A number of characters are discriminated against. Making close reference to the text discuss what you think Harper Lee wants us to learn about society as illustrated in her novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird' set in 1930's America. In this essay I will give my opinions on why in 'To Kill a Mockingbird', Harper Lee included a lot of prejudice and controversial issues in the 1930's. Also I will explore the ideas of why she would want the readers of the book in future generations to learn about the kinds of society in America in the 1930's. I feel that the book 'To Kill a Mockingbird' has many different ways of showing prejudice. One of the main displays of prejudice in the book is the court case and the apparent rape of Mayella Ewell which Tom Robinson is automatically accused and convicted of just because he is black. In this 1930's society white people are believed more than black people as black people are considered untrustworthy automatically because of their race. ...read more.

Middle

this shows how people in black churches have to cope with not having any hymn books etc, this is another way of Harper Lee showing how racism affects more than just how black people are treated, it also shows that it has an effect on how much money they have to spend even on church decorations and hymn books. I believe that the Ewells are the main 'Prejudice family' in the book as they are most likely to be the 'most racist' family in the book e.g. Mr Ewell is very adamant that Tom Robinson has raped his daughter just because he is black and because Mr Ewell is white he knows that he's got a high chance of being believed more over a black man just because of the society in that time. Whereas Atticus is much less prejudiced and he passes this quality onto Scout and Jem unlike Mr Ewell, Atticus uses reasoning and explains to Scout and Jem why he has an opinion or why someone is not liked or why they are discriminated against in the community but Mr Ewell doesn't tell Mayella why he doesn't like someone or any of his reasons for being racist. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example Miss Stephanie Crawford tells Jem all about Boo which also means that she could have told other people who would judge him on what she tells them. On page 17 Miss Stephanie Crawford tells Jem that Boo "drove a pair of scissors into his parents leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his pants, and resumed his activities" which leads people to believe things about Boo. In conclusion Harper Lee wrote a lot of morals into the book including Prejudice, Racism and Peer pressure to teach people about common life in the 1930's and the life of black people in these times. She also uses different methods of teaching in the book, with Atticus teaching Scout about racism in the community, with acts of racism being displayed against Tom Robinson and also Atticus being spat at for defending a black man, these different ways of showing the ways in which people can be discriminated against and showing how life was in the 1930's make the book a good way of learning about everyday life in a community with racist people(Mr Ewell), people easily lead by peer pressure (Mr Cunningham) and also people who don't agree with racism and who are against it (Atticus). ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay shows knowledgeof the novel and addresses the question of prejudice with some thoughtful comments.
However the essay needs to be more structured with topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph. Sentences need to be shorter, more quotes are needed and sometimes ideas and arguments are repeated.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 29/04/2012

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