Racism and Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Truman Capote Pages: 4 (1263 words) Published: October 20, 2013
Racism and Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird
In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, an African American, named Tom Robinson, is accused of raping a white girl. Throughout the story we learn that Maycomb County, Alabama is full of people who are considered to be racist. From the beginning, even before Robinson’s trial began, everyone believed that he would be found guilty. At the end of Robinson’s trial he is found guilty. Another issue throughout the novel is many of the citizens of Maycomb are prejudice against others in the town, such as Boo Radley. A statement one may conclude after reading To Kill a Mockingbird is that racism and prejudice are comparable to habits. Racism, prejudice, and habits may be acquired by watching and listening one’s family, as well as others one interacts with, from a young age. Both racism and prejudice, like most habits, can be broken with some effort and a set mind, but one must first understand what it is they are doing wrong. To understand what is wrong with one’s behavior one might seek an adult or someone they respect to explain what it is that is wrong and why it may be considered wrong.

In Harper Lee’s, To Kill a Mockingbird, the character development throughout the story shows that racism and prejudice are acquired through one’s interaction with others and that it is possible to break these mindsets. Throughout the majority of this book Scout is afraid of Boo Radley, but towards the end, after Boo Radley carries Scout’s brother home, she realizes he is not such a bad person after all (270). Scout is only afraid of Boo Radley because of the rumors she heard about him from others that she interacted with. Once Scout actually met Boo Radley herself she realized he is not scary, he just keeps to himself. The fact that Scout has an opinion about Boo Radley before actually meeting him shows that she is influenced by others around her. One may not consider this a favorable characteristic, but it is relatable to everyday...
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