A study of Prejudice in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird with emphasis on Boo Radley, Atticus Finch, and Tom Robinson

Essay by bart591High School, 10th gradeA+, December 2003

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To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is a coming-of-age story of Scout Finch and her brother, Jem, in 1930's Maycomb County, Alabama. Through their neighborhood meanderings and the example of their father, they grow to understand that injustice is a very-real part of their lives. This prejudice affects everyone in Maycomb County including Scout and Jem. It is the injustice of their world as represented in one lawsuit that had the potential to tear Maycomb County apart. Even though someone's reputation or appearance tells otherwise, injustice can tear apart one mans life, get another wrongly accused, and condemn another to a life of solitude. Prejudice occurs many times during the novel, but always seems to revolve around three men, Atticus Finch, Tom Robinson, and Boo (Arthur) Radley.

Atticus Finch was a well-respected man and had a well-respected practice as a lawyer. He was a model father, teaching his tomboy daughter, Scout, and troubled son, Jem, to be honest, kind, and courageous through his own example.

However, Atticus's reputation as a good man gave him no protection when he agreed to take up the case of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a young white woman. Before the case, Atticus was revered in Maycomb County for his morals and tidy appearance. However, during the case most considered him a 'nigger-lover' and a few of these men went so far as to endanger his life and the lives of his children. The black community and some of the more liberal people saw that Atticus was only trying to be fair and trying to save a man from being wrongly accused. Even Atticus's own sister did not approve of his representing a black man. Atticus however followed his morals and represented Tom Robinson to the best of his ability even...