To Kill A Mockingbird: Understanding Prejudice in Our Lives Essay

849 WordsOct 30, 20104 Pages
We are not born with prejudice; we learn prejudice from our family, community and society at large. These institutions influence how we view the world. Such prejudice is shown in the true story ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, written by Harper Lee in 1960. To quote from this book, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin”. Referencing “To Kill A Mockingbird”, this essay explores prejudice using discourses of race and class. The small town of Maycomb is set in the deep South, Alabama during the 1930’s. Although events such as the Civil War, which was fought to abolish slavery over 65 years ago, had been and gone, the people of Maycomb were prejudiced against the…show more content…
Institutions in Maycomb such as the school, court and church greatly influenced how the people of Maycomb looked at the world. The school didn’t allow the Negroes to enrol and get the same level of education as the white people, although they also discriminated and were prejudiced against the lower class and poor white people of Maycomb. In the court the Negroes were again showed prejudice as the two races had to be separated, the white people were seated on the ground level while Negroes had to sit up on the balcony. The church was another institution that encouraged prejudice. All the churches around the world believed and worshipped the same god but all had different beliefs as to what the world should be like and how people should marginalize others. These multiplicities of institutions are what teach us prejudice and about types of prejudice. Prejudice becomes almost inconspicuous, with many people unaware of their own prejudices, as it is naturalised in their community. In these situations, people use prejudice to get their way, put others down and discriminate against those who are different. They assume to be in charge, believing everyone else is below them, and so are able to treat and talk to others in any manner they please. One example would be Mrs. Merriweather, for as she was educated and of a high class, she thought she was above all others and so became prejudiced, towards everyone who she believed under her, to
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