Prejudice in to Kill a Mockingbird

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Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird

Prejudice is a major theme in To Kill a Mockingbird. In fact, much of the novel is made up of events based on prejudice. One such event, and perhaps the most important and major event in this book, is the trial of Tom Robinson. Tom has been accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a white woman. The truth is that Mayella, who has never kissed a man before, actually came on to Tom and was caught by her father. He became enraged and beat her. He then fabricated a story accusing Tom of beating and raping her. Atticus Finch was appointed to defend him because he was so good at his job, though he may not win, he could at least make the jury consider Tom Robinson's side of the case. Atticus brings several outstanding points to the court. Such as Tom not being able to use his left arm, Bob Ewell being left-handed, and Mayella being beat on the right side of her face. And yet the jury still finds him guilty. This brings thoughts to mind that if he had been white and perhaps the Ewells were black, the verdict would have been unanimously different. Had prejudice not been an issue, the trial may have never even come about. The reason Mayella was beaten and the reason why she lied about Tom raping her is because she "tempted a Negro," Something totally against the beliefs and way of things in the South at this time. As Atticus says, "… had to put it away from her…." Another example of prejudice in Maycomb is when Mrs.Gates, Scouts teacher, begins to discuss the persecution of the Jews in Europe. She gets in a fit about how what Hitler is doing is wrong. Scout thinks she very hypocritical because after the trial she overheard Mrs. Gates telling someone . Scout doesn't like her new teacher because she cannot see how somebody can talk about how persecution and prejudice are wrong, and then turn around and do the same thing right there at home. Prejudice is defined...
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