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To Kill a Mockingbird: a Novel Riddled with Instances of Prejudice

  • Date Submitted: 10/19/2011 07:45 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 55.7 
  • Words: 888
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The pages of To Kill a Mockingbird are riddled with instances of prejudice.   However, many of the situations perceived in the novel differ vastly in intensity and importance; some so disparate it is difficult to believe that they both stem from the same source: misinformation and misunderstanding. But that is exactly what it is.   Jem and Scout are prejudiced against Mrs. Dubose as a result of their failure to see underneath her harsh words. Miss Maudie and the foot-washing Baptists, on the other hand, rave at each other over the most timeless of human misunderstandings – religion. The conservative Aunt Alexandra condemns entire families below the Finches simply because of pedigree and connections. These judgments are so varied and common that one comes to the conclusion that the formation of preconceived opinions is simply human nature.
Many of the preconceptions can be seen to be the dark side of family traditions, which are frequent and well-loved by families world-wide. Despite the scores of protests and laws that had denounced and abolished slavery by the 1930s, the long-established opinion of most Southern families that black people are lying worthless animals was still upheld by the majority of the Maycomb citizens. In the novel, it is easy to see how the conceptions of an adult can be passed down to the children, as Atticus often advises his children of their conduct and judgment by making comments such as “Don’t say nigger, Scout. That’s common.”   (To Kill A Mockingbird, 85) and of course, the famous “Shoot all he bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (103) In the same way, less savoury admonitions are similarly pushed onto the younger generations, which is how there came to be a Tom Robinson trial in the first place. Bob Ewell, the jury and the majority of the citizens of Maycomb took only Tom’s skin colour into consideration when they condemned him a rapists, willing to even bypass their animosity towards...

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