Prejudice In the book, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, prejudice was applied in a realistic way. Harper Lee lived in the south during the sass’s and knew what true prejudice was like. She illustrated that prejudice is hidden until people feel comfortable enough to express it. In the novel, the racism doesn’t grow, it is revealed. As Scout grows, she realizes the amount of prejudice and bigotry in Macomb. Prejudice is the most explosive theme in the entire novel.
There were hints of it in the beginning, but as the trial menaced, most of Macomb wanted Tom Robinson dead with evidence proving he was innocent. However, the people of Macomb did not develop this hatred throughout the entire novel, it was always there and the trial of Tom Robinson revealed it. Harper Lee is an author who lived through the racism of the south and the Storybook trials. People are never racist alone against others, it is almost always many racists against a few people.
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The mob mentality is always present because a racist will not speak out against others unless he is with fellow racists. This is applied perfectly in To Kill A Mockingbird. The entire white society of Macomb is racist against black people, and when Attic’s is not racist and defends Tom Robinson, the people of Macomb go against him. To make things worse, the Jury was all white and prepared to make Tom Robinson a dead man whether he committed a crime or not. On the other hand, it is suggested in the novel that Macomb is becoming a more accepting town.
Attic’s said that it was a rare that a verdict was taking so long for a lack man and that may be the beginning of change. Although it may be a small thing, it is significant enough to show some change in the clearly prejudiced court of law. Unfortunately, these changes are not big enough to help Tom Robinson in his clearly unjust trial. Another example would be the lynching mob led by Mr.. Cunningham. The mob was planning on killing Tom Robinson simply because he was a black man in Jail. But when Scout went up to Mr.. Cunningham and told him to tell her son she said “her’, Mr..
Cunningham was ashamed of himself and disbanded the mob. This shows that people like Mr.. Cunningham are realizing that they are not doing what is right for society. In conclusion, in the book To Kill a Mockingbird , prejudice and racism was developed thoroughly and realistically. Although it was shown that racism is clearly rampant in Macomb, it was also suggested that racism was beginning to decline. It seems as if all people have prejudices and are prejudiced, but what matters is how you act upon them. To Kill a Mockingbird Prejudice By Wonderland