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

To Kill a Mockingbird - prejudice

Extracts from this document...


The novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee is a didactic novel which explores the issue of prejudice at different levels. It tells the story of two isolated members of Maycomb County - Tom Robinson and Boo Radley - who are subject to racial, individual and class prejudice from the community. The exploration of the theme of prejudice successfully evokes sympathy from the reader and also prompts the reader to consider the theme in a wider context outwith the microcosm of Maycomb. The mockingbird motif is arguably the most significant symbol in the novel - its key image of an innocent creature and its repeated image make it a very effective motif in conveying the theme of prejudice. Essentially, the mockingbird mainly symbolises Tom Robinson and Boo Radley, both innocent and isolated from society. ...read more.


Furthermore, the cruelty of the Maycomb community is further conveyed through the racial prejudice directed towards Tom and the black members of society. For example, the outcome of the trial conveys to the reader the ignorance and racism inherent in society during this period of time through convicting a black man of a crime he did not commit on no evidence. Atticus Finch sums up the injustice of this to his plea to the court, and essentially, society: 'this case is as simple as black and white'. The witty pun used by Lee depicts to the reader the apparent significance of race to the marginalisation of members of society in Maycomb. In my opinion, the writer is very successful in conveying the theme of racial prejudice to the reader and also in encouraging the reader to think of the wider picture. ...read more.


Once he said you never really understand a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.' Lee here not only successfully depicts the individual prejudice inherent in society through the characterisation of Boo Radley, but also conveys an important theme of growing up and also, to some extent, issues of education as Scout has finally learned from Atticus' maxim, mirroring Macomb's gradual 'baby steps' towards social change. In conclusion, the symbolism of the mockingbird, the characterisation of Boo and the outcome of the trial play a significant part in conveying the many branches of prejudice and the cruelty of human nature in Maycomb as a microcosm. The exploration of this hardly sporadic theme help to evoke sympathy and empathy from the reader towards the isolated members of Maycomb - primarily Boo Radley and Tom Robinson , but Lee also successfully encourages the reader to consider ...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

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

    4 star(s)

    As he raised his right hand, the useless one slipped off the Bible and hit the clerk's table." At first, by his actions, Tom seems to us to be quite nervous and edgy. Although his answers are short, they are detailed and Tom doesn't seem to falter, despite the crime he is probably about to be convicted for.

  2. Peer reviewed

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

    4 star(s)

    Scout, Jem and their friend, Dill, who comes to stay in Maycomb every summer, ask Dolphus some questions about the trial. He answers them with startling honesty. When asked why he is being so frank Dolphus replies, stating it is because they are children and children can understand.

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

    Maudie as being a positive role model to Jem and Scout (in particular, Scout and good company) so when Miss. Maudie says 'Did you know some of 'em came out the woods one Saturday and passed by this place and told me, me and my flowers were going to hell?', it suggests that these 'foot-washing Baptists' were deluded or mean.

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    Analysis The fact that the tree is in the Radleys' yard, coupled with Mr. Radley's act of filling the hole with concrete after they leave the note, points to Boo as the deliverer of all the presents, and probably also the sewer of the pants.

  1. Discuss the importance of Boo Radley in relation to the themes and plot of ...

    or in daylight, but has to do it in an underhand way. Another person with a great deal of courage is Atticus Finch. He has to take on the abuse of the townspeople because he is defending Tom Robinson, a Nergo.

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

    I think that Boo is the one that is leaving Jem and Scout the small gifts. This proves that Boo is kind and caring. The person that people describe Boo as would not do a thing like this. When Miss Maudie's house is on fire Jem and Scout stand on the pavement outside the Radley house.

  1. How far do you consider "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" and "To Kill ...

    Miss Crocker doesn't perceive the chart to be racist which indicates that she has experienced too much racism and that she is accustomed to accepting prejudice as she clearly demonstrates by punishing Cassie for her views. Mrs. Logan also covers the chart, intending to cover them all.

  2. Is Maycomb a microcosm of America's society in the 1930's?

    So they pay him back in ways they can. For example: Mr Cunningham paid Atticus instalments, he gave him a sack of hickory nuts etc. When Scout asked her father why he paid him in this way Atticus simply said; " Because that's the only way he can pay me.

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