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Themes in the Novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee; Critical Analysis of Prejudice and Discrimination

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Of all the themes in the novel To Kill A Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee, Prejudice and Discrimination was the most important one. This novel illustrates what problems could be caused by prejudice. Discrimination is the core of every society. From choosing who is in charge to picking who are the outcasts; there’s not a place on Earth without discrimination. We see discrimination in every society: from our workplaces, schools, jobs, status, wealth, power, and privileges. Discrimination is the effect of prejudices. Prejudice is a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. Prejudice can ruin a person’s life and even cause wars. Many people choose to ignore or are ignorant about the problems prejudice can cause. We see prejudice in many forms today, but the three most prominent ones are racial, religious, and gender prejudice. ​

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We see prejudice all over our societies. From the olden days to today, prejudice has constructed our communities. For example, it has forged who we hang out with, who we are friends with, and people we leave out, prejudice has influences on all aspects of our lives. Some examples of very influential prejudices that molds our communities are religion discrimination, racism, and gender inequality. Reading the To Kill A Mockingbird book we’ve learned that prejudiced can ruin a person’s life. For example, Boo Radley, a mockingbird, who was strongly affected by the social crisis; because he didn’t want to leave his home, people made all kinds of assumptions about him. Sure he’s made some bad decisions but it doesn’t mean he can’t change, but because of the prejudices against him, nobody will give him a chance. An example of race prejudice in the book To Kill a Mockingbird is Tom Robinson. Since he is a black man, Tom stands no chance in winning the case that was brought up against him. He had been accused of being guilty even though the jury knew that he was an innocent man but because of the color of his skin the jury could not see last their injustice. We see another example of racism, when Aunt Alexandra argues with Atticus about firing Calpurnia, the black cook that works for the Finch family. Aunt Alexandra thought it wouldn’t be proper for Scout to be around Calpurnia’s influence. this shows how much Aunt Alexandra and many other inhabitants of Maycomb thought of people of color; they think they are lesser and too dangerous. An example was when Scout went to church with Calpurnia, and Aunt Alexandra freaked out and thought that Calpurnia had put Scout in danger. We also see many gender inequalities in the book To Kill a Mockingbird. For Instance, Aunt Alexandra tells Scout that she needs to dress more like a lady instead of wearing overalls. Another example of gender inequality in the book was that during the trial of Tom Robinson, Jem asking Atticus why people count be more like Miss Maudie and Atticus responded that women are not able to be or allowed to be on the jury.

Racial prejudice, better known as racism has been around for many generations. His issue is prejudice directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. We see this problem all over our society; for instance, the law. Recently on the news, we see Amber Guger, an ex Dallas officer, who walked into the wrong apartment killing a 26-year-old African American man named Botham Jean. When she was being questioned she said: “ I thought he was armed”. This is a form of racism because of the many assumptions people have made African-Americans being dangerous and violent. Due to this problematic issue, a family is grieving because of the loss of their son, brother, and friend, who did nothing wrong. We see many examples of racism today. We see it in movies, books, news, workplace, and schools. Many people believe that because racism is not as horrific and as big as it was in the past, it doesn’t exist. I have read a book about racism called The Hate U Give. There are many examples of racial prejudice in the book The Hate U Give. For an instant, Starr the main Character in the book sees her childhood friend being shot at by a police officer because they thought he was armed. There are a lot of those instances like that in our world today. For example, the police officer who walked into the wrong apartment and saw a black man and shot him, which killed him, because she believed that he was breaking into her house. We have race prejudice all over not just African Americans. For example, Muslims are also judged based on their skin color and what they wear. Reading the book Does My Head Look Big In This I have a bigger understanding of what races prejudice that is going on around the world. Muslim people are mistreated everyday basedon what they wear and what they look like. I was talking to a lady once and we saw a Muslim lady walked by and that last asked me, ”I always think they look really sad why do you think they always look so sad.” After I heard that comment and had finished reading the book Does My Head Look Big in This I have realized that because of all the things that we hear on the news about Muslins, we make assumptions about them. I think that because if all the rumors we’ve heard about them we basically before getting to know we make assumptions about them. We should get to know a person before we judge and leave them out because the world has turned their backs on them.

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Themes in the Novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee; Critical Analysis of Prejudice and Discrimination. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from
“Themes in the Novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee; Critical Analysis of Prejudice and Discrimination.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
Themes in the Novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee; Critical Analysis of Prejudice and Discrimination. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 1 Feb. 2023].
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