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Themes of To Kill a Mockingbird Social and Prejudice Inequality

By Megan-Rubino Nov 02, 2013 618 Words
Theme of To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic novel written by Harper Lee in 1960. The main themes in To Kill a Mockingbird are Prejudice/Social Inequality, Search of Identity, Moral Education, along with Coexistence of Good and Evil. The theme that this essay will be about and how it relates to the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, is Prejudice/Social Inequality. The unfair difference between groups of people in society when some have more wealth, a different color of skin, status, or opportunities than others is Prejudice and Social Inequality. This classic narrative is a magnificent book, and the themes of Prejudice/Social Inequality play a substantial part in it.

The book is centered on a tomboy named Scout finch and her family, her brother Jeremy “Jem”, and her father Atticus. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Tom Robinson, a black man, is defended by Atticus after being accused or raping a white woman, Mayella Violet Ewell. This is an example of the theme Prejudice Inequality. For example on page 231 of To Kill a Mockingbird Mr. Ewell stood up, pointed at Tom Robinson, and shouted, “-I seen that black “n*****” yonder ruttin’ on my Mayella” Prejudice Inequality is strongly shown during this part of the book.

Mayella Violet Ewell, a 19-and-a-half-year-old and eldest daughter of Bob Ewell as well as Tom Robinson's accuser. Foreshadowing of this was Mayella’s growing red geraniums outside her grimy home, combining with her lack of love connections, she grew desperate. She tried to tempt Tom Robinson, an act that at the time could cause a great social distraction. When Bob, Mayella’s father, sees her tempting Tom through the window he beats her. He then runs to the sheriff, Heck Tate, and then dishonestly tells him that his daughter had been raped and then beaten by Tom. Social and Prejudice Inequality are at play here; due to their fear of social withdraw the Ewell’s create a story, blaming Tom Robinson, thinking no one would pay enough attention to tell they where lying, because the man was black.

Social Inequality is also a highly used theme throughout To Kill a Mockingbird. The theme helps emphasize the importance of social levels, but a large portion of it is combined with Prejudice Inequality. However, Walter Cunningham Jr. is a white boy who is often referred as “white trash” throughout the community. Walter Jr. is almost as old as Jem, but is placed in Scout’s class. When the great depression came Walter and his family was were hit hard, they couldn’t even pay a 25-cent debt to Scout’s father, Atticus. Even though Walter Jr.’s family where low on social pole Atticus still treated them with respect and honor.

Social and Prejudice Inequality are very important theme in countless books other than To Kill a Mockingbird, for example The Casual Vacancy. If authors where to boycott these themes many books would not be written about the early to mid 1900’s, which was a very turbulent time in our society. To Kill a Mockingbird took place during one of the biggest historical changes in America, the Civil Rights movement, started by Pro-equality and anti-equality beliefs. This book can teach the readers many things like values and family. Taking the public by storm, selling over 40 million copies, it has been translated into over 40 different languages, and was made into a popular film, To Kill a Mockingbird is considered a piece of modern American literature. Being honored with several awards such as Pulitzer Prize, To Kill a Mockingbird is truly a time tested novel, still as relevant today as when it was written. It deserves every award it has been given.

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