Immunizing Society Against Discrimination

Good Essays
The themes of racism and growing up are significant in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill A Mockingbird. Atticus Finch, a lawyer, is trying to defend a black man who has been falsely accused in a trial. His children Scout and Jem don’t understand a lot of the racism occurring in the beginning, but slowly start to realize that people are being discriminated against and understand what they may be going through as they grow up and mature. How is discrimination infectious? It can influence the young by family and/or society. Atticus’s children Scout and Jem, are brought up with the values of non-discrimination and these values will help them go far in life. Through the characters of Scout and Jem, Harper Lee demonstrates that when growing up, people who are exposed to discrimination are encouraged to discriminate in return.
Discrimination is contagious and harmful for the well-being of the society. This book shows how the “mad dog” which symbolizes racism, can enter a town and spread over like a disease. Calpurnia phones Atticus and shouts “There is a mad dog down the street” (Lee 123). The mad dog is sick and diseased with rabies which represents racism that is about to enter the town and spread this disease. Just like how rabies is contagious, so is racism. When Atticus shoots the mad dog it is like he is shooting down racism and prevents this contagious disease from spreading over the town. Secondly, Miss Maudie shows how one small nutgrass can spread and ruin a whole yard which
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