How the Stereotypes Enhance the Theme of the Novel
To Kill a Mockingbird
In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, many characters are stereotyped into whom they are not, to emphasise the theme of the novel, as well as teach the audience of the moral lesson that is learned from this novel; to be a less judgemental society and to be willing to accept others of different cultures and races by creating moral education. This technique of using stereotypes gives the reader a first-hand knowledge of what it is like to be stereotyped; thus, creating the theme of the coexistence of good and evil. Throughout the novel, characters are stereotyped and the audience learns their true self as the novel goes on. These stereotyped characters are used to achieve the theme in the way Boo Radley represents how humankind is essentially good, how children view society and prejudice compared to adults, as well as the way minor characters in the novel prove that not everything is as others perceive them to be.
Boo Radley was one of the main characters in this novel, yet he was only seen in the novel very few times. His role in this novel was to prove to the audience that stereotypes are not always true, since the stereotyped evil character was actually acting as a parent-like figure to the Finch children. The town of Maycomb had created a horrible stereotype over the years of Boo Radley only because of his parents and the fact that he had social issues. Many people including Jem, scout and Dill thought Boo was, “chained to a bed most of the time, 6 feet tall, judging by his tracks, he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch that’s why his hand were bloodstained… there was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten, his eyes popped out, and drooled most of the time,” (pg.16) only from stories they have heard from others around Maycomb. Boo Radley shows the theme of the...