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Boo Radley to Kill a Mocking Bird

  • Date Submitted: 05/31/2010 07:21 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 67.7 
  • Words: 1766
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Although the character of Boo Radley does not reveal himself until the end of the
novel, he is important to all of the themes present in `To Kill a Mockingbird' One of the
more dominant themes is prejudice. There are two main types of prejudice that are
explored in the novel; racial prejudice, social prejudice and fear of the unknown.
Racial prejudice is present throughout the novel in the people of Maycomb's everyday
life, as it is a novel set in the `deep south' of America in the 1930's. This is a period
shortly after the American civil war, so slavery's abolishment had occurred not long ago.
Because this had not been around for long, most people's attitudes towards Negroes had
not changed, despite efforts towards change. The situation that shows the best examples
of racial prejudice is the trial of Tom Robinson. In his trial, Tom Robinson is misjudged
and mistreated because he is black. One of the most prominent examples of this is the
way in which Mr. Gilmer, Tom's prosecutor, calls Tom "boy." He uses a tone of voice,
which one would use when talking to the lowest creature on earth, towards Tom and
makes him look foolish. This is all because Tom is Black. The worst example of racial
prejudice is Tom Robinson's trial verdict. All of the evidence produced by Atticus makes
it clear that Tom is innocent, yet Tom is found "guilty". This verdict is clearly based on
the fact that Tom is black, but also that he, a black man, felt sorry for a white woman. "I
felt right sorry for her" This statement would have brought any jury of Southern America
to outrage in the 1930's. To them it was not right for a Negro to feel pity for any
member of the white community.Another example of racial prejudice in the novel is at
Aunt Alexandra's `lady's meeting'. It also shows the hypocrisy that took place in
Maycomb. Miss Merriweather goes on to explain the "sin and squalor" that is suffered by
"those poor Mrunas" and makes herself seem most ethnically aware, but...


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