The themes of racism and prejudice in 'to kill a mockingbird' by Harper Lee.
A novel I have read recently and thoroughly enjoyed is 'To Kill A Mockingbird' by Harper Lee. It portrays a life and the role of racism in the 1930's. In this essay I will talk about the themes of racism and predjudice. I will also look at the characterisation to show the contrast of how it affects all of the characters and the use of symbolism of the mockingbird representing different characters. The theme of prejudice in "To Kill A Mockingbird" is much more than just a case of black and white. The entire novel is about prejudice in it's many forms, the most prominent case of prejudice is the racism and hate between the blacks and whites.The book is set in a small town in Alabama called "Maycomb", like most small southern towns in that time, has a problem with widespread racism toward blacks. The novel focuses on one family, the Finches. In the family there are three charecters, Scout, Jem and Atticus. Atticus (the father) is a lawyer and is defending a black man in court (Tom Robinson), something that was not often done in the south due to racism. Many people feel threatened by this and feel very resentful towards Atticus. Throughout the novel all the members of the Finches and many others display courage in their attempts to stand up for what they believe in.
The whole town of Maycomb is based on stereotypes of it's inhabitants, that are passed down from generation to generation. Rumors run rampid and very little truth is usually in them."So Jem received most of his information from Miss Stephanie Crawford, a neighbor scold, she said she knew the whole thing. According to Miss Stephanie, Boo was sitting in the livingroom cutting some items from The Maycomb Tribune to paste in his scrapbook. His father entered the room. As Mr.Radley passed by, Boo drove the scissors into his parent's leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his pants, and resumed his activities.