Themes Of ' Kill A Mockingbird ' By Harper Lee

939 Words Mar 8th, 2015 4 Pages
Sharon Yin
Mrs. Reynolds
English 9H
8 March 2015
Themes Foreshadowed in the First Chapter The first pages of a novel often introduce the major topics of the work, which is exactly what author Harper Lee did. The first chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird creates a basis and foreshadows the major themes that play out during the rest of the novel; themes such as prejudice, childhood and growing up, small town southern life, and bravery. One of the most crucial motifs in this novel is prejudice. The two kinds of prejudice displayed in Chapter One are racial and the fear of the unknown. The reader sees for the first time an indication that the white people of Maycomb discriminate against blacks, when Jem and Scout were shocked that Calpurnia said Mr. Radley was “the meanest man ever God blew breath into” (pg. 15), because “Calpurnia rarely commented on the ways of white people” (p. 15). Calpurnia’s comment is out of place because African Americans are usually respectful of white people since they were considered superior in the 1930s, which is the time period that this novel is set in. Perhaps the biggest example of this racism is the trial involving Tom Robinson. Tom is accused of raping Mr. Ewell’s daughter, Mayella (pg. 164). During the trial, before Tom even has a chance to recite his side of the story, most people have already made up their minds about him. Even though Atticus is able to provide evidence that Tom was innocent, the biased white jury still found him guilty,…
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