What is The of Prejudice in to Kill a Mockingbird

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 840 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Mar 5, 2024

Words: 840|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Mar 5, 2024

Prejudice in "o Kill a Mockingbird"

Prejudice is a prevalent theme in Harper Lee's novel "To Kill a Mockingbird," set in the racially divided American South during the 1930s. Through the eyes of the young protagonist, Scout Finch, the novel explores various forms of prejudice that exist in society. This essay will examine examples of prejudice in the novel, including racism, classism, and sexism, and discuss how these prejudices are portrayed and challenged by the characters.

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One of the most prevalent forms of prejudice in "To Kill a Mockingbird" is racism. The town of Maycomb is deeply divided along racial lines, with African Americans being treated as inferior to white people. This is exemplified through the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. Despite the lack of evidence against him, Tom is found guilty simply because of his race. This demonstrates the deep-seated racism that permeates Maycomb society and highlights the injustice faced by black people during this time.

Another form of prejudice explored in the novel is classism. The Finch family is relatively well-off and respected in the community, while others, such as the Ewells, are seen as "white trash" and looked down upon by the townspeople. This class divide is evident in the treatment of characters like Walter Cunningham, who is poor but honest, and the Ewells, who are poor and dishonest. The novel challenges the notion that one's social standing should determine their worth as a person and highlights the harm caused by class-based prejudice.

Sexism is also a prevalent form of prejudice in "To Kill a Mockingbird." Women in Maycomb are expected to conform to traditional gender roles and are often marginalized and silenced. Scout struggles with these expectations, as she is expected to act like a lady and conform to societal norms. Characters like Miss Maudie and Calpurnia challenge these gender roles by defying expectations and asserting their independence. The novel highlights the limitations placed on women in the 1930s and the impact of sexism on their lives.

Throughout the novel, characters like Atticus Finch and Boo Radley challenge and subvert the prejudices of the society in which they live. Atticus defends Tom Robinson despite facing criticism and backlash from the townspeople, while Boo Radley shows kindness and compassion towards Scout and Jem, despite being misunderstood and feared by the community. These characters serve as examples of moral courage and empathy, challenging the prejudices of their society and standing up for what is right.

In conclusion, "To Kill a Mockingbird" explores various forms of prejudice, including racism, classism, and sexism, and challenges these prejudices through the actions of its characters. The novel highlights the harm caused by prejudice and the importance of empathy, compassion, and moral courage in overcoming it. By examining these examples of prejudice in the novel, we can gain a greater understanding of the impact of discrimination and the importance of standing up against injustice. One example of racism in the novel is the treatment of Calpurnia, the Finch family's African American housekeeper. Despite her loyalty and dedication to the family, Calpurnia is still seen as inferior due to her race. This is evident when Aunt Alexandra expresses her disapproval of Calpurnia's influence on Scout and Jem, reinforcing the racial hierarchy that exists in Maycomb. This demonstrates how racism not only affects the relationship between different racial groups but also permeates interpersonal relationships within the community.

In terms of classism, the character of Dolphus Raymond challenges the social norms of Maycomb by living with a black woman and having mixed-race children. Despite being wealthy and respected in the community, Dolphus chooses to live on the outskirts of society due to the prejudice he faces for his choices. His character serves as a commentary on the rigid class structures in Maycomb and the challenges faced by those who do not conform to societal expectations. Dolphus Raymond's story sheds light on the complexities of classism and the impact it has on individuals who do not fit into the predetermined social order.

Sexism is also a prevalent theme in the novel, as seen through the character of Miss Stephanie Crawford, the town gossip who spreads rumors about Boo Radley. Her character embodies the stereotype of women being nosy and judgmental, reinforcing the limited roles that women were expected to play in society. However, characters like Miss Maudie and Scout challenge these stereotypes by asserting their independence and refusing to conform to gender norms. Through these characters, the novel highlights the importance of breaking free from societal expectations and embracing individuality.

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Overall, "To Kill a Mockingbird" serves as a powerful commentary on the various forms of prejudice that exist in society and the impact they have on individuals and communities. By examining examples of racism, classism, and sexism in the novel, readers can gain a deeper understanding of the harmful effects of prejudice and the importance of empathy and understanding in overcoming it. Through the actions of characters like Atticus Finch and Boo Radley, the novel inspires readers to challenge prejudice and stand up for justice and equality.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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What Is The Of Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird. (2024, March 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
“What Is The Of Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird.” GradesFixer, 05 Mar. 2024,
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