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The Theme of Prejudice in To Kill A Mocking Bird

Uploaded by CherylCole on Dec 14, 2011

To Kill a Mockingbird is narrated from the viewpoint of Scout, a young girl of about six years old who is the daughter of another central character, Atticus Finch. Atticus is the voice of justice and rationalism speaking out in a town full of highly emotional and ignorantly prejudiced people. A lawyer, the integrity of Atticus never wavers throughout To Kill a Mockingbird as we are shown one of the few figures who truly holds justice and moral beliefs above the prejudices of society.

To Kill a Mockingbird Themes - The Mockingbird
The main themes of To Kill a Mockingbird are illustrated through two major subplots running parallel throughout the novel. One of the major themes in the novel is the mockingbird motif. Atticus feels that it is wrong to kill a mockingbird because all they do is sing beautiful songs and never harm anyone. This theme is illustrated through the trial of Tom Robinson.

A black man, Tom Robinson is accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a white woman. In this subplot, the racially prejudice nature of Maycomb is clearly portrayed through such instances as the fact that Atticus is accused by the town of being a "nigger lover" for defending Tom’s case and also through the lynch mob scene outside the jail. It is in the Tom Robinson trial that the greatest example of injustice because of prejudice is seen. Although Atticus actually manages to prove the innocence of Tom Robinson, the white jury still refuses to declare the innocence of a black man over a white resulting in the most blatant testimony to the fact that the town of Maycomb held racial discrimination above justice. Through its decision the town essentially kills a mockingbird. Tom Robinson was a man who did no harm to others but instead actually helped others out of kindness - a mockingbird who becomes victim to a racist society.

To Kill a Mockingbird Themes - Another Man's Shoes
The second motif again concerns the nature of prejudice and is illustrated through the subplot of Boo Radley. Atticus tells his children that we never really know a man until we stand in his shoes and walk around in them. This theme is represented through Boo Radley, a man surrounded by mystery and rumors and hence prejudices. It is this prejudice that initially consumes Scout at the beginning of To Kill a Mockingbird as she imagines Boo to be some...

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Uploaded by:   CherylCole

Date:   12/14/2011

Category:   To Kill a Mockingbird

Length:   3 pages (620 words)

Views:   5482

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