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

What do the trial scenes in To Kill a Mockingbird reveal to us about the nature of prejudice and how it has affected the inhabitants of Maycomb at the time the book is set.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What do the trial scenes in "To Kill a Mockingbird" reveal to us about the nature of prejudice and how it has affected the inhabitants of Maycomb at the time the book is set. "To Kill a Mocking Bird" is a novel by Harper Lee which explores the institutionalised prejudice in a town called Maycomb in southern Alabama. The novel is set during the Great Depression in the 1930's. It is based around the trial of Tom Robinson, a Negro man falsely accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. Atticus Finch, a lawyer and one of Lee's main characters decides to defend Robinson even though he is likely to be found guilty because of the prejudice instilled in the inhabitants of Maycomb. The events in the book are seen through the eyes of Finches daughter, Jean-Louise Finch, more commonly known as Scout. This allows us to see the towns peoples prejudice through the eyes of an innocent child. This essay will look at the trial scenes and how they show the prejudice of the inhabitants of Maycomb. ...read more.

Middle

This also shows the town peoples prejudice because they would believe the dirty, antisocial Bob Ewell over Robinson because "if scrubbed with lye soap in very hot water, his skin was white". Bob is also very prejudice as he gets Robinson arrested even though he didn't do anything wrong. He is also very disrespectful towards Robinson in court "I seen that black nigger yonder ruttin' on my Mayella!" Although Robinson does not show prejudice he knows that the inhabitants of Maycomb will, as even though Mayella came onto him, nobody would believe him because he was black. When Finch asks him why he was scared and ran he replied "Mr Finch, if you was a nigger like me you'd be scared, too" The people watching the trial in the court show their prejudice because when Robinson says "I felt right sorry for her" they misunderstand him and think that he is taking pity on her which would mean that he thinks he is "better" than her, and they don't see how a black person could be "better" than a white person, even a Ewell. ...read more.

Conclusion

Raymond also says "they could never, never understand that I live like I do that's the way I want to live." This shows peoples prejudice because it means they can't understand how someone could like living with black people. Atticus sums up the court case by saying "the state has not produced one iota of medical evidence." He tells the jury that the case is "as simple as black and white", meaning it is obvious who is telling the truth, and who is lying. He says that in the courts "all men are created equal". Telling people to put aside their prejudices and look at the fact that not only has "two witnesses whose evidence has not only been called into serious question" but also "has been flatly contradicted by the defendant." Here he is saying the Ewells are not to be trusted because of the holes in their story. Despite Finch's speech the jury are unable to overlook their deeply ingrained prejudice, and find Robinson guilty. The trial did have some effect on them though because they took a few hours to decide a verdict, whereas normally they would have said any black man was guilty. Issy 10A ...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 Miscellaneous 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 Miscellaneous essays

  1. Human Nature Within The Text of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

    Utterson takes a visit to Dr. Jekyll's and finds him in his laboratory looking extremely ill. To cover up the fact that he and Hyde are linked, Jekyll says that Hyde has left and shall never be seen again "I swear to God I'll never set eyes on him again".

  2. How Does Jane Austen Present Mr Collins in Pride and Prejudice? What is His ...

    It takes him a long time after Lizzie's refusal to finally realise that she meant it and it was not a 'rejection due to the usual practise of elegant females.' And when he does, he finds it necessary to leave as soon as possible, greeting Elizabeth with a 'stiffness of manner and resentful silence.'

  1. Hemingway's The Old Man and The Sea - complete set of notes, page by ...

    Page 20 Santiago looks towards the sea creatures for companionship and depends upon non-human creatures for company: 'Flying fish were his principle friends on the ocean' He sees them as equals, which is why he is a strange old man.

  2. Hamlet - What do the soliloquies reveal about Hamlet and his state of mind?

    He also makes quite a few references to his mother and the quick re-marriage to his uncle. The line "But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:" refers to the time after his father's death that she re-married.

  1. to kill a mockingbird

    Mocking birds represent good people who do nor intend no harm but are still harmed and corrupted by evil. This can be related with Boo Radley, who has not harmed anyone but instead gives presents to Jem and Scout and gave Scout a blanket during the fire.

  2. Adaptation Othello: Act 1

    I take my leave. Exeunt Brandy Hilts Good. Very good. Just as I predicted. it'd be better if I was not seen by Parkinson. I'll go to bed. I would've stayed but it would not be proper for me to be seen working against Parkinson.

  1. Ghost Town

    The graveyard was a dark and mysterious place, which I would have never dared to go. My thoughts and my fear were getting the better of me and my legs. I started to slow down. In the moments of shear disbelief, the river came upon me, which ran past the graveyard.

  2. To kill a mockingbird

    Atticus explains to her that 'a compromise' is, 'an agreement reached by mutual concessions,' which is something she does with him. She reaches an agreement with her father, that if she attends school then he will read to her 2 every night.

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