"Prejudice and Oppression in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and Thomas Hardy's The Sons Veto" Talks about where prejudice and oppression lie in both novels.

Topics: Social class, Discrimination, Working class Pages: 6 (1963 words) Published: April 12, 2004
Prejudice has caused the pain and suffering of others for many centuries. Some examples of this include the Holocaust and slavery in the United States. In To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee racism was the cause of much agony to the blacks of a segregated South. Along with blacks, other groups of people are judged unfairly just because of their difference from others. The prejudice and bigotry of society causes the oppression of people with differences. What was also apparent is the prejudice that people had to face when seeking to defend the rights of those minorities who were being oppressed.

Some who are discriminated against are those who are born differently than the majority. One person that is treated unfairly is Calpurnia, as you can see when Aunt Alexandra tried to get Atticus to fire Calpurnia, because in her eyes, Calpurnia wasn't a good enough female role model (p.136). This is a prejudice action, because Calpurnia is as good as a role model as Aunt Alexandra, if not better. Calpurnia despite all the comments and prejudice against her carries on with life, whilst Aunt Alexandra has all the trappings of a white woman who thinks her position in life is preordained and everybody should know their place. If they do not then they are abnormal and should be subject to anger, which I would see as oppression and prejudice. Maybe Aunt Alexander was afraid that her view of blacks was wrong and that they were human beings after all and that was a frightening thought in the South.

Another person who is treated like an inferior is Scout. She is treated badly by her teacher, because she knew how to read. "She discovered that I was literate and looked at me with more than faint distaste. (p.17)." Scout is treated like it is her fault that she knows more than the average child did. She learned earlier than others so she gets punished unjustly. This is another example of people stereotyping people and the danger of the stereotype. Children cannot do certain things and if they can they are abnormal and will become subject to prejudice. One can see it in schools all over the world. The "Brainy" student who is subject to ridicule by his/hers peers. The " thick" student again ridiculed and cajoled by his/hers peers and his/hers teachers. People who do not follow the norm are subject by certain elements to prejudice in one form or another

Tom Robinson is also one who is discriminated by a biased community. Tom is found guilty by the jury, in his case against the Ewells (p.211). The guilty verdict is a direct result of a racist community. Tom was never given a fair chance in the trial, even though that the evidence was proving him innocent. People that are born differently often get mistreated and are discriminated against.

Another group that is treated poorly in the society based on prejudice are the people who have chosen to be different. One who chose to be different is Dolphus Raymond. He pretended to be drunk so no one gave him any trouble on the way that he lived his life (p.200). The way a person lives should be there own personal business. He has the right to live differently than others if he feels that is the way he wants to live But the trouble is he knows that by marrying a black women, his society will condemn him, so he sees a way to avoid it in becoming a perceived drunk. In this way he deflects one form of prejudice for another easier to live with form of prejudice.

Another person that lives differently is Boo Radley. Boo stayed inside his house for a number of years without ever coming out to interact with others. He didn't want attention that would come from the rumours that were said about him. Stories were made up about him and he felt it was best for him to stay inside. The people who chose to be different took a risk of being made outcasts of the majority of the society and one way of avoiding the prejudice of the world was to hide away from it. But in so doing he is not living a life he lives a...
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