Innocence and Prejudice in to Kill a Mockingbird

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To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee is a beautiful story depicting a family living in the South of the 1930’s, and their struggle against the prejudice which was common to that time. The book centers on Atticus Finch, the father of the family as well as a lawyer, and his fight against prejudice. We see the story unfold through the innocent eyes of his young daughter, Scout, who is free from prejudice and not yet jaded. By viewing events as Scout sees them, the author shows us how to overcome prejudices, and gain tolerance.

By seeing the mob scene outside of the jail house through Scouts innocent eyes, we see how to gain understanding for others, instead of having everything be black or white. By talking to Mr. Cunningham the way she did, completely open, just trying to “make him feel at home” (154), she shows how he’s really just another person. In the thick of everything that’s happening, she’s able to forget why he’s there, and just say hey. She doesn’t see that he had become part of a mob, and had given in to the mob mentality, only what Atticus had said about him, and how the Cunningham’s were actually good, noble, human beings. She brought him back to earth, and reminded him what Atticus had done for him, of his son, and his whole life. Her reaction helps us to see our so called enemies in a different light. Instead of viewing the mob with hatred and fear, much as they view Tom Robinson, we are able to see them as individual people, who have given into their fear, and we are able to feel compassion and understanding.

Viewing the story with Scout as the narrator, we gain compassion for those different then us, such as the Ewells. During the trial, Scout comes to the realization that “Mayella Ewell must have been the loneliest person in the world.” (191) When Scout says this, she opens up a different way for us to look at the situation. Instead of us seeing it simply as the Ewells framing Tom, and having our feelings toward it be one sided, this allows...
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