Prejudice to Kill a Mockingbird

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Prejudice denotes a prejudgment and negative opinion formed without adequate knowledge or justification. Individuals who are prejudicial are often biased and act unfavourably to other groups, particularly those of differing race and socio-economic status. Ideas and themes about prejudice are strongly evoked through Harper Lee’s 1960 novel “To Kill a Mocking-bird” and the poem “The Child” by Valerie Church. “To Kill a Mocking-bird” explores the prejudices associated with the coloured and underprivileged community group in a small town of the central Alabama which contrasts to the simplistic nature of a mentally-disabled boy in “The Child”. Through the juxtaposition of ideas conveyed in both texts, audiences are confronted with a greater understanding of the differing aspects of prejudice. Racism is and continues to be one of the most common types of prejudice experienced and exercised within the international community. Traditionally, the importance of race and skin tones was believed to signify the wealth or superiority of an individual or group. Written in the 1960’s America, Lee’s novel concentrates on the negative impact and effect of the orthodox prejudices held against the coloured community. Derogative connotation to the minority black community as “niggers”, portray the constant racial prejudice experienced by them within the small town of. Although the protagonist family are of Anglo descent, they fall victims to racial prejudice in their attempt to defend a black person in the court of law. The importance of skin tone is expressed through imagery, where Atticus explains the need to symbolically “climb” into someone’s “skin” to consider the light of their circumstances. Further, the repetition of “nigger lover” connotes the negative attitude Atticus and the Finch family experiences in response to helping Tom Robinson, one of the mockingbirds in the text. Lee’s employment of the mockingbird as a motif symbolises the harmless and caring nature of the...
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