Racial and Social Prejudice in To kill a Mockingbird
Discrimination is a topic many authors have focused on for a long time. It has been the basis of many arguments, and has been around for thousands of years. Prejudice still currently affects our society today. In Harper Lee’s book, To Kill A Mockingbird, prejudice is evident in the form of social, and racial discrimination through the characters of Scout, Atticus, and Tom and some other characters in the novel. The most prominent form of racial discrimination in the book is Tom’s trial. Tom, a black male, was wrongly accused of raping Mayella Ewell. Bob Ewell comes up with this story to convince the jury that Tom is guilty, and to cover his tracks of domestic abuse. Mayella Ewell was attacked by a person who is left handed, and Tom’s left hand was crippled by an accident with a cotton gin. Although Tom had a reason for being perfectly innocent, the jury sentenced him just because it was a white woman’s words over a black male’s. Using the example above, one finds that black men are at the lowest part of the totem pole. Page 226 says “There’s four kinds of folks in the world. There’s the ordinary kind like us and the neighbors, there’s the kind like the Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells down at the dump, and the Negroes.” Women in this time were also discriminated against. Scout is reprimanded for being a tom boy. She is told by her aunt several times that she couldn’t be a woman if she wore breeches. Her aunt also reckons that Scout should participate in feminine activities such as: playing with stoves, tea sets, and necklaces. Atticus Finch, Scouts Dad, also somewhat discriminates against women. Page 221 voices Atticus telling Jem women are not to serve on a jury. Dill explains to Scout that if girls did something that normally only boys do, she is going to be slandered for it. Scout being a tomboy is socially against the rules of this time. Discrimination...