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The Message About Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird

Uploaded by surfchick on Feb 14, 2005

What message does the novel, To Kill A Mocking Bird, convey about prejudice?

Prejudice is the preconceived opinion of a person or thing. The novel To Kill A Mocking Bird’s main message to readers is not to treat other races, such as blacks, differently. There are 3 main types of prejudice: racial prejudice, social prejudice and religious prejudice. Maycomb is an old and tired town that puts a negative light on the town and the people. The poverty and lack of outside influence causes prejudice. The backwardness and narrow-mindedness of the community fuelled racism in Maycomb are negative qualities for social and religious prejudice. The foot-washers have a strong influence on the community and the town being prejudice towards the Radleys. In the trial there is a lot of racial prejudice toward Tom Robinson as there is no doctor present who could testify that Tom didn’t commit the crime.

Maycomb town is described well in chapter 1 as it tells us why the people are so inward looking.
“Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town.”
This statement by Jem to the readers puts a negative light on Maycomb and its people. The personification of the word tired emphasises the lack of enthusiasm, about everything, the people of Maycomb have. It also suggests an unwillingness and lack of desire to change this fact. ‘Tired’ also indicates that the town is very boring and new concepts are not welcome. There is also the repetition of the word ‘old’ which gives the impression of a dirty decaying town. This emphasises how old fashioned and backward the town is. The paragraph also describes how the town is not looked after by anyone.

The poverty and lack of outside influence causes prejudice. Maycomb rejects outside influences because of the old fashioned views. The town’s backwardness is highlighted by the way in which there are no activities or past times in Maycomb except gardening.
“A day was twenty four hours long but seemed longer.”
This is emphasised when Jem says,
“Don’t have any picture shows here.”
These quotes emphasise the restricted and backward views the people hold.
It is apparent that the authorities do not wish for any outside interference, when during Scout’s current affairs lesson it is said that:
“Few rural children had access to newspapers!”
This shows that there was no wish for the town to change. The outside influences...

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Uploaded by:   surfchick

Date:   02/14/2005

Category:   To Kill a Mockingbird

Length:   5 pages (1,034 words)

Views:   37892

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