Prejudice in To Kill a Mocking Bird

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Prejudice in To Kill a Mocking Bird

To kill a Mocking Bird could be considered a reliable and unexaggerated portrait of southern American´s prejudice because the author Harper Lee based Maycomb the setting for the book and the character Atticus. On the real place and people. Monroeville and Harper Lee´s farther who was a lawyer. Monroeville was also Harper Lee´s hometown and this gave her reasons to know the socity as deeply as she does. The people of Monroeville and other places in the South America recognised themselves and the part that they played in the society in the book, this illustrates the connection between the society in the 1930 and the fictional narrative.
Having the book so accurate, the author can then hit the reader with more impact and can express her views on prejudice and discrimination with stronger force and more focus.

The book investigates many types of prejudice. One is the hatred and fear towards the blacks and the violence between them that could break out at any time, for example the lynch mob. The lynch mob were a group of men that threatened to take the law in their own hands and got together to kill Tom Robinson before his trial. It shows the underground violence that surfaces before the rape case starts. It also shows how the lynch mob feel powerful in a group, because they are able to hide behind someone else. Scout doesn´t understand what their intentions are and sees a face in the crowd and names him. 'Hey, Mr Cunningham´ she says singling him out from the group. Mr Cunningham realises this and is put in the spotlight and can´t hide behind anyone. He also realises that an innocent little girl has caught him in action. This puts pressure on Mr Cunningham and makes in take in to account for his actions. This is an effective way to combat this type of prejudice, Scout manages to disarm Mr Cunningham, and he has to rethink his actions.

There are many types of prejudice and they all subtly revolve around the Tom Robinson rape case. For example; when scout meets Mr Dolphus Raymound during the trial she becomes aware that he is a victim of prejudice and that he has become an outcast. This is because he lives his life with a black woman, this is thought to be wrong in society in Maycomb. One of the effects of this is that he pretends to be drunk. Another is that his children are also victims of prejudice as they are mix race they don´t fit in with the blacks or whites, because of all this they live in the isolated out-skirts of Maycomb far away from anyone. This also means that Dolphus Raymound does not have to face any of his peers. This shows how cowardly his character is. However, it is the way he tackles with the racism.

The ladies of Maycomb also show prejudice towards individuals. Mrs Merriweather for instance never questions her actions, or what she says. For example, Mrs Merriweather insults Atticus as a misguided person. When she says 'I tell you there are some good but misguided people in this town.´ She later goes on to say, 'Folks in this town who think they are doing right, I mean. Now to far be it for me to say who,´ This show Mrs Merriweather´s character and how two faced she is. When Mrs Merriweather insults Atticus in front of Scout, it shows how self-content she is.
Miss Maudie combats this prejudice by stopping her sharp and showing her up in front of the other ladies to realise what she has just said. Miss Maudie says 'His food doesn´t stick going down, does it.´ This reveals Mrs Merriweather´s victim as Atticus. Miss Maudie is open-minded and sticks up for Atticus as she feels that he is doing the right thing.

The rape plot shows the prejudice between the characters. The author subtly shapes the many varieties of prejudices in to the different characters of the town.
As of the prejudice there is a clear segregation between the types of people and this is shown through out the book, as the black people are portrayed as servants or workers. The blacks live in their own part of town and have their own church to worship at. When Scout and Jem go to worship there it is frowned upon by Aunt Alexander. The segregation is shown here when scout and Jem arrive at the church as the crowds´ part to let them through first. The blacks are also segregated in the courtroom as they sit in the balcony further away from the court scene. It portrays to the reader how the prejudice is clearly shown in society. This is how it would have been in southern America in the 1930´s.
When Scout asks if she may visit Calpurnia, her Aunt rules it out with out an explanation but by saying 'You may not´. This implies that Aunt Alexandra is prejudice towards Calpurnia and that her shortness and the tone that she projects to the reader suggests this.

There is also gender prejudice in 'To Kill a Mocking Bird´, for example Scout has to wear a dress to school and has to be accompany the ladies of Maycomb for their weekly gathering. However, Jem does not have to accompany them. The appearance of females is one particular view that Harper Lee projected to me as the reader. This is because the women all have the same nail varnish and all have well kept appearances. The females are all very feminine and stereotypical and never question their roles.

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Prejudice is spread out and you cannot escape it, it is all around you, and you would always be a victim of some kind of prejudice.
Boo Radley could see the segregation of the people of Maycomb and the prejudice. He there for shut himself away trying to escape it. I know this because of when Jem says 'I think I know why Boo Radley´s stayed shut up in the house all this time…its because he wants to stay inside.´ This proves to me that he chose to stay inside and hide. This is just one explanation of why Boo Radley ...

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