Explain Some of the Ways Prejudice Is Presented in to Kill a Mockingbird

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Explore some of the ways the theme of prejudice is presented in to kill a mockingbird At first Harper Lee presents the reader with the image of a small, quiet, rural town on the outskirts of Alabama. However as the novel progresses she dismantles the layers of social, gender and racial prejudice routed through Maycomb using the characters to aid the emphasis of these main themes. Harper Lee uses Scout to explore the prejudice within Maycomb. She firstly illustrates the gender prejudice which if inflicted upon Scout by Jem and Aunt Alexandra. We see this when Jem says “I declare to the lord that you’re getting more like a girl every day” Here we see that Jem, however well educated by Atticus has fallen victim to prejudice helping the reader understand that however well meaning a person may be they still become influenced by the prejudice around them. Harper Lee uses Aunt Alexandra to illustrate what was expected of women at the time in a deliberately negative way. Scout observes this and says, “Aunt Alexandria’s deportment involved playing with small stoves, tea sets and wearing the adda-pearl necklace she gave me when I was born.” Aunt Alexandra’s view of life astonishes Scout and therefore emphasises the fact that her upbringing, up till now, has been a complete contrast to how other children would have been raised. We also find that gender prejudice does not only restrict girls in their choices but also boys. A key example is when Scout’s cousin Francis says “ Grandma’s a wonderful cook (…) She’s gonna teach me how.” Scout replies bluntly “Boys don’t cook” This reversely links with Jem’s prejudgment of girls an again reveals that even the children of a deeply unbiased and just man can become influenced by the ideas of a community. It also shows the pressure upon boys to behave in a certain way and that prejudice affects everyone in the community not just
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