In the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee there are many different themes such as: stereotyping, justice, racial relationships, family and parent- child relationships. In my opinion the most important of these is stereotyping.
When thinking about this story stereotyping against African-Americans is the first that comes to mind but in fact there are many others like gender and social class roles and the “southern belle” stereotype.
The gender stereotype that comes into play is with Scout, a tomboy. She hates wearing dresses and thinks that being considered a girl is an insult.
Also, Aunt Alexandra brings up another stereotype when she comes to stay. She believes that because the Finch’s come from a line of landowners, they deserve a higher respect from people and must uphold their status. Aunt Alexandra does not like to be associated with people who are not in her same social class and does not tolerate it when Scout is not acting lady-like.
I think that the most prevalent instance of stereotyping in “To Kill a Mockingbird” is racial stereotypes of African-Americans. In Maycomb society black people are of the lowest social class and are often refered to with derogatory terms. Also, with people like Aunt Alexandra in the town, the social class rules are enforced heavily on the Black people. The instance that shows the most racism is at Tom’s trial. Atticus knows that no matter what he does, Tom will not win because of a prejudiced jury.
In my opinion stereotyping is the most important theme to this story because of its prevalence throughout the entire story.
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