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To Kill a Mockingbird Discrimination

In: English and Literature

Submitted By daena
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Discrimination, injustice and racial prejudice are simply part of the norms in the fictional town of Maycomb in Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. Different kinds of prejudice are interlinked in the novel, indicating that the unstable economic situation and isolated nature of the community means that prejudice is directed towards all sorts of characters who do not fit into the expected behavioural patterns of society. The dominant forms of prejudice in the novel are racial and social prejudice, actively displayed by Bob Ewell and Aunt Alexandra. There is also inequality for women in Maycomb. Atticus’s maxim leads to the understanding and tolerance rather than prejudice. It is suggested that although it is unlikely that prejudice can be eliminated altogether, ‘baby steps’ can be taken to change the attitude of the Maycomb community.
Maycomb is divided into clearly defined social classes. Jem recognises the class structure when he talks of ‘four kinds of folks in the world’ – the normal people such as the Finches, Cunninghams out in the wood, and Ewells down the dump and the ‘negroes’. The black community in Maycomb is automatically seen as the bottom of the social strata, even below the lowest class than the Ewells, who are categorised by the community as ‘white trash’. When Tom Robinson shows that he felt sorry for Mayella, this is immediately seized upon by Mr Gilmer as it would be interpreted as the lowest class of citizen showing superiority towards a class above it. Social prejudice is also portrayed against the Radley family, especially Boo Radley, as he remains as the mysterious man that never comes out of his house. As a result, the town shuns him out and gossips about him, while the children make up stories about him. Another example of discrimination is against Miss Caroline Fisher, who is from North Alabama and thus considered a kind of foreigner. Scout…...

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