Essay: The effects of prejudice in to kill a mockingbird

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  • Subject area(s): Literature essays
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  • Published on: October 23, 2019
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  • The effects of prejudice in to kill a mockingbird
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Prejudice is a common problem during the early quarter of the twentieth century. In the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird this problem is evident in Maycomb. Boo Radley, Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson are all victims of prejudice, and all three characters are plagued by this. It affects them all differently; crippling them and disabling them from acting as they wish.

In the novel, Boo Radley is a victim of prejudice. Boo Radley is not accepted nor does he fit into Maycomb society because he is different from others. He is not normal so he is punished by a society that is very judgmental. Boo does not act like a normal person. In society, his actions are mysterious and abnormal.

Boo Radley isolates himself from the people of Maycomb. Boo stays inside his home all day and nobody ever sees him. After some trouble with the law, “Mr. Radley’s boy was not seen again for fifteen years”(10). If Boo chooses to go outside, he will be unfairly viewed as a visitor from abroad because of his mysterious ways. Boo stays inside his home because he knows that his society will ridicule him. After being isolated for so many years, Boo is developmentally challenged. Boo has lost his basic social skills and will not survive outside of his home.

Boo is the object of rumors and is viewed as the town’s erratic figure. The town speculates what he does inside his home. People believe that Boo “went out at night when the moon was down, and peeped in windows… any stealthy small crimes committed in Maycomb were his work”(9). The town would blame or accuse Boo for any little crime or unexplained phenomenon. Children speculate as well as the adults. The town portrays Boo Radley as a monstrosity in their society when he is just an individual who made mistakes and is a little bit diversified. This is an example of the crippling affect that prejudice has on a person.

Atticus Finch is another victim of prejudice in the novel. After the appointment to defend Tom Robinson, the town exhibits prejudice towards him. The townspeople believe that Atticus should not present a proper defense, but Atticus fully intends to do so because he believes in equal rights and does not believe in prejudice or racism.

The town of Maycomb displays prejudice against Boo Radley, Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson in different ways. They are all indefensible in society and there is nothing they can say or do to prevent discrimination against themselves. By the end of the novel, Maycomb seems to begin a positive change from prejudice. Society is now beginning to understand that Boo, Atticus and Tom’s differences are what give them character and without their differences, life in Maycomb would be monotonous.

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