Predjudice in to kill a mockingbird

Essay by sarah359 March 2004

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Prejudice is arguably the most prominent theme of the novel. It is directed towards groups and individuals in the Maycomb community. Prejudice is linked with ideas of fear superstition and injustice.

Racial prejudice consumed the mob (pg 166), which wished to prevent Tom even gaining a court hearing, the most basic form of justice. This is probably the fiercest form of prejudice in the novel.

The abolition of slavery after the civil war gave blacks the same legal position as many whites in America. This initially made Blacks´ lives harder because now the Whites saw them as competitors for jobs during the 30s depression. Fear and paranoid led to the Whites believing that the Blacks desired all the whites had, including their women.

Aunt Alexandra´s attitude to Calpurnia

The Missionary tea ladies´ comments about the Blacks

Segregation of White and Black in Maycomb

Dolphus Raymond - White man living with Black woman

Class & Family Group is recognised by Jem on page 249 "There are four kinds of folks in the world..."


· Finches & neighbours: White middle-class

· Cunninghams: Badly hit farming community

· Ewells: Lowest class of whites 'White Trash´

· Blacks: Seen as bottom of social strata

Due to the abolition of slavery there was no longer a clear-cut line between the Ewells and the Blacks; skin colour did not make them any better.

When Tom said in the trial that he felt sorry for Mayella (a crime worse than rape in the jury´s eyes) - the lowest class showing superiority for a class above themselves. The white community was frightened for their own position in society; the only reason Tom was found guilty was to maintain the traditional hierarchies.

Alexandra is obsessed with heredity and educating Scout and Jem of their superior family background -...