How Does Lee Use Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird

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This creatively written novel by Harper Lee shows the children’s reaction to the Radley Place which effectively foreshadows the depth of prejudice and intolerance present in the wider community of Maycomb. Scout and Jem are both bred and born in Maycomb, living off a diet of gossip. The prejudice and intolerance in the community is shown from the very beginning of the novel, when Scout tells us about the mysterious myths and town gossip surrounding Boo Radley. For example, Boo never seen outside for years, getting into trouble with the law and stabbing his father with a pair of scissors in the thigh. “..people still looked at the Radley Place, unwilling to discard their initial suspicions.” (Page 9) This shows how small and connected the…show more content…
And why was that the case? Well that was simply because Tom Robinson was a black man. When Mayella was being questioned, she is treated with respect and with manners. She was treated like a real lady even though she was an Ewell, the lowest standard of a white family in Maycomb. In contrast to Mayella, Tom Robinson was treated as if he were not worth anything, for example he was being called Boy, big buck, when he was being questioned. When Mr Gilmer asked for Tom’s reason for helping Mayella, Tom admitted he had felt sorry for her. “ ‘.. I felt sorry for her, she seemed to try more’n the rest of ‘em-‘ ..‘You felt sorry for her, you felt sorry for her?’ Mr Gilmer seemed ready to rise to the ceiling”. (Page 217/218) No black man should feel sorry for a white person. The witnesses of this cross examination were shocked and this shows how prejudice they were- they believed that no black man can feel sorry for their superiors. Another factor that was deeply prejudice during Tom Robinson’s trial, was when Mr Gilmer has trouble trusting Tom’s statement when Tom says that he helped Mayella out of kindness and no money. He did not believe a black man could do a simple chore from the goodness of their heart for nothing! Also when Tom is called big buck- Mr Gilmer is treating Tom as if he were more of an animal. This trial was not judged fairly at all. Not only was the cross examination insulting but there was so much evidence supporting Tom Robinson’s innocence yet he was judged
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