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Prejudice in Harper Lee´s To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

Decent Essays
Life is like a thrill ride; one never knows what will be in store for them. Many characters in the story To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee feel the same way about life, having experienced many surprising and unexpected turns of events. This story is about a sleepy southern town filled with prejudice, and a lawyer’s quest, along with his children Scout and Jem, to take steps in ridding the town of its prejudiced mindset. Atticus, the lawyer, defends an innocent black man, Tom Robinson, accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell, despite being a white man. However, everything does not go as planned, and the prejudiced mindset of the society overpowered Atticus’s fair-minded argument. A prejudiced society results in blindness,…show more content…
Miss Merriweather talks about how Mrs. Roosevelt and the others “up there” were being hypocrites in trying to accept the black people and live along with them. “At least we don’t have the deceit to say to ‘em yes you’re as good as we are but stay away from us. Down here we just say you live your way and we’ll live ours.” (313) The prejudice that the missionary circle ladies have towards the black people leads them to blindly call Mrs. Roosevelt a hypocrite, even though they are themselves being hypocritical in trying to coexist with the black people. Instead of trying to live along side and interact with black people, the ladies are blinded by their prejudice to the point where they can’t see that what Mrs. Roosevelt is doing is beneficial in accepting black people as equals. Through irony, Lee is able to show how they are blinded by their own prejudiced mindsets. Other than racial prejudice, the children also have a simple prejudice against Boo Radley. One example of this is when Jem gives Dill a “description” of Boo Radley based on previous prejudiced ideas. “There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time.” (16) This shows how prejudice about how Boo Radley looks and acts leads to ignorance and blindness in actually knowing the truth about him. This prejudiced mindset is observable in the children, because they are brought up in a prejudiced society and
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