In chapter 10 of To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses the incident of the mad dog as an allegory to represent prejudice. At this part in the chapter Atticus and Heck Tate are watching the mad dog walk down the road. Scout and Jem are watching from the crack through the door. Jem whispers “ Mr. Heck said they walked in a straight line. He can’t even stay in the road.” This passage in the novel represents prejudice because when Jem whispers that “Mr. Heck said that they walked in a straight line,” it means that usually the prejudice has been under control and not very noticeable by the people in the town. After, Jem says, “He can’t even stay in the road.” Which means that the prejudice was unnoticeable before, but now the prejudice can’t even stay in the road. It has the meaning that the prejudice is starting to become out of control and someone has to do something about it because it threatens all the townspeople. “Mr. heck said they walked in a straight line” also means that the people in Maycomb could handle the prejudice. Now that “It can’t even walk in a straight line.” The people of Maycomb have to take action against it, but everyone is too afraid to do anything. The people of Maycomb are afraid of change and they don’t know what to do when the mad dog comes. The only people that have enough courage to do something about the mad dog, the prejudice, are Atticus and Heck Tate. Even though Heck Tate is out there with Atticus, he is still too afraid to do anything about the prejudice so he gives his gun to Atticus. Atticus is afraid of the prejudice but he has the courage to destroy it. It was taking Atticus a while to shoot it, but he finally did. He destroyed the prejudice. Clearly, the incident of the mad dog represents more than just a dog in To Kill A Mockingbird; Rather, Harper Lee uses the mad dog as a symbol of the prejudice in the town of Maycomb.
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