Discuss the prejudice represented in "To Kill A Mocking Bird" and "Philadelphia."

Essay by crimsonbutterflyJunior High, 9th gradeA+, August 2004

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Prejudice is defined as pre-judgment, generally based on perceived notions of a group rather than an individual. 'To Kill a Mocking Bird ' by Harper Lee and 'Philadelphia', directed by Jonathan Demme, are two texts that convey different forms and aspects of prejudice, set in different contexts; To Kill A Mocking Bird was set in the 1930's, in the sleepy town of Maycomb in Alabama at the time of the Great Depression whilst Philadelphia was set in the metropolitan city of Philadelphia in the late 1980's. The film of Philadelphia itself was neither that much about homosexuality nor AIDS, just as To Kill A Mocking Bird is not that much a novel about the civil rights movement. The central theme to both texts is prejudice, as both try to communicate the bigotry rooted by lack of awareness, ignorance and justice.

To Kill A Mocking Bird was written in the late 1950's, but was set in the 1930's in a small southern town of Maycomb County in Alabama.

It was influenced by the following years after the Great Depression, a time of great poverty for white and black alike. Although the abolition of slavery after the civil war gave blacks the same legal position as many whites in America, this initially did not make many things easier for the blacks for the reason that now they were seen as competitors for jobs during the Depression. Hatred and paranoia led to the persistence of prejudice against black Americans.

To Kill A Mocking Bird concerns two main forms of prejudice. The foremost and most prominent is the racial prejudice and injustice, consumed by the common white population of Maycomb, for example, the mob that inclined to prevent Tom Robinson from even gaining a court hearing; the most basic form of justice. Not...