In society, it is automatically assumed that people want justice, equality and stride for freedom. Despite that, when a group of people are put together; they turn into a stack of dominos. Although they do not realize it, when someone of higher social class creates a certain stigma against a person or group the rest will eventually follow through despite personally knowing them. It is the act of bias and influence that hinder the sight of many. “Bigotry or prejudice in any form is more than a problem; it is deep-seated evil within our society” a quote from Judith Light. It is in Harper Lee’s “How To Kill A Mockingbird.” that the issue of Prejudice is shown throughout the novel. It is apparent in the novel which exhibits the unethical idea of individuals, particularly the in each human soul amongst discrimination and injustice.
Furthermore, “To Kill A Mockingbird” displays the idea of innocence, how prejudice works, and the consequences.The novel takes place in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama during the great depression era. Through the young characters; Scout and Jem perspective, they learn to mature and grow learning that not all people are good by nature such as their father Atticus. Moreover, it is clear that people are not born prejudiced and discriminating others, but something that is shown and learned. An example of this is through the character of Cecil Jacobs. ” He had announced in the schoolyard Cecil Jacobs said the day before that Scout Finch’s daddy defended niggers.
I denied it, but I told Jem.” ( Lee 85) It is evident that Scout an innocent little girl has no clue what Cecil meant as she can not comprehend the significance of that word or why it was used as an insult to her father. This tells the reader how Scout perception changes and finally learns about life and its negativity. Another example would be Boo Radley since he is constantly wrongly accused as he is portrayed by the folk of Maycomb as a vicious man which is evident in chapter one ” Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall… there was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and roten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time’ ( Lee 14 ) Jem and other children depicted Boo Radley of this dangerous predator, but in reality he was a human who had been stripped of his innocence and endured because of it. In fact Boo Radley was a harmless man who only did things for the greater good “insert good acts here” (cite) In ways, Boo Radley symbolizes a mockingbird as “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy . . .
but sing their hearts out for us.” (Lee 103) Furthermore, because all Boo Radley ever did were good acts, he genuinely never should had been discriminated against as he was a misunderstood man. It is clear that the author wanted the reader to interpret racial prejudice with the use of innocent characters and therefore even got victimized because of that same innocence.Prejudice is caused because of several reasons, because the novel strongly displays prejudice, there are many types of prejudice presented such as racism, gender, age and social. Prejudice is the perceived notion based solely on someone you do not know. Furthermore, an example of sexism would be involving Aunt Alexandra and Scout during chapter twenty six, Alexander has very strong views on how a girl must act, she believes scout should dress properly and have good manners. However, this is not her fault as this was how women were taught growing up. This is evident in the quote “”Aunt Alexandra’s deportment involved playing with small stoves, tea sets and wearing the pearl necklace she gave me when I was born.
” ( Lee 78 ) This is significant because in her aunts eyes doing all of this would help Scout prepare for her future. Moreover, an example of racial prejudice can be seen during the Tom Robinson trial. Because Tom was a black man, he was already perceived as guilty to the tolk folk of Maycomb when accused of raping a white girl. Unfortunately because of the racial prejudice going around the time period of 1930’s in Alabama and the unwillingness to end racism, Tom Robinson was charged as a guilty man although he was proven innocent on multiple occasions such as “insert info” it is the direct result of the negative mentality and the unwillingness to acknowledge that he was not liable guilty, the corrupt justice system would not be resolved. It is apparent that although the reader may think that the human nature would want righteousness and kindness, it goes to show how people allow themselves to be manipulated and lose their self control so easily.It is hard to comprehend how prejudice affects people, Boo Radley, Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson are some examples of victims of prejudice and every one of them is affected differently.
One day Boo Radley was cutting the newspaper with scissors, and when his father passed “Boo drove the scissors into his parent’s leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his pants, and resumed his activity”(Lee 11). Ever since then Boo Radley separates himself from the general population of Maycomb and remains inside his home throughout the day so no one ever sees him. Unfortunately, If Boo goes outside, he will be unjustifiably seen as a stranger due to his absence and rumours spread, therefore Boo remains in his home since he realizes that his general public will continue to ridicule him.
Subsequent to being confined for such a long period of time, Boo Radley is developmentally challenged. Boo has lost his essential social and communication skills and can not survive outside of his home, this is the consequence of continually being ridiculed and can damage somebody’s self esteem. In addition, Atticus Finch is another victim of prejudice in the novel. After being chosen to defend Tom Robinson, the town folk start to exhibit prejudice towards him. The town folk trust that Atticus will not present a legitimate defense for Tom because of his skin colour, but Atticus full heartedly intends to do so because he believes in equal rights and condones in prejudice or racism.
In addition, Atticus Finch is also the victim of vicious comments by the townspeople. Many folk do not believe that Atticus should defend a black person in court because, as they would like to think, a black man is already blameworthy before the case is properly conveyed to trial. Furthermore, Mr. Bob Ewell then proceeds to confront Atticus after the trial and spits in his face and says ‘Too proud to fight, you nigger-lovin’ bastard?’.
.. “No, too old” (Lee 217) This does not bother Atticus because he knows that he is doing the right thing defending Tom properly. But because of the prejudice Atticus was facing, It also affected Scout and Jem during school, but they could not do anything about it.