Prejudice in to Kill a Mockingbird

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In the world people are always preconceived based on who they are or what they look like. Even thought it isn't as big of a problem in some areas as in others, we need to fight it. If we don't then it will continue to get more serious and at times lead to death. In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Alexandra tells her niece that she can't play with a schoolmate simply because of his class. "‘You can scrub Walter Cunningham till he shines, you can put him in shoes and a new suit, but he'll never be like Jem…Because—he—is—trash.'" (224). This prejudiced state of mind is the foundation for the plot events of the novel. By way of experiences, a young girl, Scout Finch, must learn about the part prejudice plays in the everyday life of Maycomb County. Through settlement patterns, justice, and social stratification Harper Lee reveals the ways of prejudice. The first instance of prejudice, settlement patterns, greatly affects how people of Maycomb are prejudged, not just where they lived, but also where they dwelled. The Ewells are considered the lowest class of Maycomb, aside from the blacks, which is shown by the fact that they live at the edge of the town, right next to the black people. "‘He would show me how where and how they lived. They were people, but they lived like animals'" (30). The author describes where people live as a sort of divider among them, the Ewells not only live near the blacks, but also right next to the garbage dump. Not only was the location of one's residency used to prejudice them, but also where they would dwell. The blacks' church, as described by Scout, was, "unceiled and unpainted within…pine benches served as pews…there was no sign of piano, organ, hymn-books, church programs" (120). Through her description of the church, Harper Lee allows you to know, without having to read any other section of the book, that the black people of Maycomb are of low class. The people of Maycomb are so prejudiced that they live in...
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