In the novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, an interesting idea is prejudice. This idea is portrayed in many aspects of the novel, and is directed towards both groups and individuals in the Maycomb community. Prejudice is linked with the ideas of fear, superstition and injustice. It is important because we can see how it affected people. Prejudice is said to be “Maycomb’s usual disease”. Racial prejudice cost an innocent black man, Tom Robsinson’s, life, as he has been found guilty without justice. “In our courts when it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins.Order now
They”re ugly, but those are the facts of life. ” This interacts with another idea of injustice. Also, the night before the trial, the lynch mob arrives at the jail like a “Roman Carnival”, to “watch a poor devil on trial for his life”. This clearly showed how those white men have no respect for Tom as they treat the trial like a “show”. Furthermore, we can sense the ugliness in the racial tension and prejudice which threatens Tom’s safety even before he comes to trial. Prejudice is also shown towards individual characters in the novel who do not fit into the expected behavioural patterns of society and about whom little is known.
Atticus Finch, Boo Radley, Dolphus Raymond and Tom Robinson are all victims of this kind of prejudice. Tom “felt sorry” for a white girl, and “Atticus aimed to defend” a black man. That’s what (the society) don”t like about it. Mr Raymond is a white man who dislikes the idea of prejudice and would prefer to live among the blacks. He reveals his secret of pretending to be a drunkard to the children because he respects their innocence.
He believe that they might understand as they have not yet caught “Maycomb’s usual disease. Boo Radley has been misjudged by others because he never comes out of his house and so little of him was known. The rumours and superstitious views of ghosts, stories the children have heard, increase their fear of Boo Radley. Mr Raymond describes prejudice as “the simple hell people give other people. ”
It is a timeless and universal issue. The route to prejudice starts from the lack of understanding of others, causing fear, stereotyping and intolerance, which leads to prejudice and injustice. This can be overcome when we “consider things from (other people)’s point of view , climb into (their) skin and walk around it in. Tolerance, sympathy and courage are then developed instead of prejudice.
These finest human attributes are displayed by Atticus. We can see the ugly issues in human life, make their appearances on Harper Lee’s narrow stage. The issue that prejudice of any kind is very wrong, and is the most damaging thing human can do to another. Also the idea of not to judge people by their skin colour, or position, as we are all human and should all be treated with justice. Only through the narrow stage, we realise how prejudice can damage others so badly.