Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

1983 WordsOct 12, 20178 Pages
In both the past and present, prejudice produces a plethora of problems (alliteration). In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee shows that people must think outside the box of prejudice for the resolution of societal conflicts. Lee writes about the lives of Scout and her brother, Jem, children growing up in Maycomb, Alabama amidst the Great Depression. Arthur Radley, their secluded and mysterious neighbor, captivates the minds of the children, including their summer friend, Dill. Meanwhile, their attorney father, Atticus, decides to defend Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. Although Atticus presents clear evidence that proves Tom’s innocence, Bob Ewell, the father of Mayella, lies about the…show more content…
Jem can not fathom the problem of prejudice that presents itself in the court; he is unable to see the need for social change, and therefore, the problem can never be solved. Later on, Jem makes a startling realization, as his previous confidence changes to doubtful anger. Scout recalls Jem’s reaction as Judge Taylor polls the jury for the final verdict: “Guilty… guilty… guilty… guilty…” I peeked at Jem: his hands were white from gripping the balcony rail, and his shoulders jerked as if each “guilty” was a separate stab between them” (Lee 282). Jem is no longer just another spectator watching from the stands as he begins to feel emotionally connected with the trial and Tom Robinson, showed by his deep anguish and public display of anger. He realizes that the jury convicts Tom due to his skin color, not because he was guilty. Although Jem supports Tom, despite his skin color, he knows that people judge others just on looks, a more mature outlook than his previous views. It isn’t until Jem puts himself in the shoes of Tom Robinson that he realizes the verdict is wrong and sees the need for racial change to occur in society. As Jem recognizes prejudice and learns to put his bias aside, he helps solve this societal conflict of racial inequality- now he just needs others to join him for progress. First, Jem is confident about his predicted results of the trial, but when
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