To Kill a Mockingbird

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Due to fear and ignorance, prejudiced attitudes have affected communities and the way society operates for hundreds of years. Prejudice involves the negative preconceived ideas or opinions about a person without any reason, knowledge or experience. Prejudice derives from fear and ignorance of the unknown along with rigid attitudes. Both Harper Lee and John Steinbeck convey the clear nature, causes and consequences of different types of prejudice. These 2 authors depict the injustice, discrimination and inequality present in society due to racial, class and socio economic prejudice.

Class prejudice occurs when people are put into clearly defined groups which characterize the position and status they hold in society. Class prejudice is fuelled by both fear and ignorance. The fear is that somebody will stand higher in the social hierarchy than they should and ignorance is displayed when somebody is judged based on who they associate with rather than through knowledge of their true character. Class prejudice leads to the unfair treatment of people and inequality in society which is represented in the novel To Kill A Mockingbird. Class prejudice is portrayed throughout the whole novel but it is truly highlighted when Jem says “I’ve got it all figured out now. There’s four kinds of folks in this world. There’s the ordinary kind like us and the neighbours, there’s the kind like the Cunningham’s out in the woods, the kind like the Ewell's down at the dump and the Negroes”. The use of 1st person narrative and seeing Maycomb through the eyes of a child conveys a complete picture of Maycomb society in an engaging and sympathetic way. A child has a simple view of the world and has no inherent prejudice. Harper Lee uses a child’s perspective to show that class prejudice is an unattractive invention created by adults.

Racial prejudice occurs when people are judged on the colour of their skin and their differences, not their personal attributes. Racial prejudice is...
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