• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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)

    If Tom had been white, and a higher class than Bob Ewell, Atticus would surely have won his case. This evidently shows the enormous amount of prejudices held by most of the townsfolk, virtually living in a 'cast' social system.

  2. Peer reviewed

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

    4 star(s)

    Prejudice is largely directed towards the Radley family. The Maycomb community consider them odd for not following local customs and traditions. They regard the Radleys as outsiders and outcasts. The children of Maycomb are fascinated by what lies behind their closed door.

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

    they are liked more by Scout than the Ewells 'that boy's not trash Jem. He's not like the Ewells' (pg. 248), it shows a difference in class division from a child's perspective also. 'I go to school with Walter. He's a nice boy' (Chapter 15), this is a contrast from

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird Imagery and Symbolism

    about their own way of life because of all of the Jim Crow laws and discrimination practiced there. A final example is seen in how Aunt Alexandra believes the Finch's family is above most others in Maycomb. Yet, that is not true, for Atticus explains to Scout that their family

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird Lit Review

    Maycomb County was a fictional southern town of Alabama, United States. "Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned into red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square."(5).

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

    Another theme in this novel is 'courage'. We can recognise several types of courage in this novel. There is the basic courage required to overcome childish fears, such as running past the Radley place, "Jem said to Dill that if he wanted to get himself killed, all he had to do was go up and knock on the front door."

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird

    "Miss Maudie can't serve on a jury because she's a woman." (Chapter 23, page 227) As mentioned before, Harper Lee herself studied law and was also a writer. For her society, she was probably an exception as most women in the 1930s did not have such decent and respected jobs.

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

    and the other fact which is that prejudice has been passed down through generations. Prejudice can come in many shapes and forms. Harper Lee included in the novel lots of different situations where prejudice is present. Lots of characters in the book are prejudiced against others.

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