HS English 2: Period 6
6 May 2014
Are you the type of person that judges people by their looks, actions, or by their family?
Or are you the type of person that judges people by their personality? Many people judge others by just how they appear on the outside instead of actually getting to know the person. In "
To kill a Mockingbird
" Harper Lee shows that the County of Maycomb is an extremely prejudiced town, even though it looks very peaceful, the people that live there are not as nice as they look. The three main characters from the book that were being judged on were Tom Robinson, Atticus
Finch, and Arthur Radley.
Prejudice in “
To Kill a MockingBird
” is first shown and said by Atticus’s children, Scout and Jem. We first start of with Arthur Radley (Boo Radley). Throughout Maycomb Arthur
Radley is known as a “monster” because of stories they heard about him. “As Mr.Radley passed by, Boo drove the scissors into his parent’s leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his hands, and resumed his activities”(13). This shows that although this was a very awful thing to do, nobody really knows what was his purpose for this actions and the people of Maycomb don’t give
Arthur a chance to show what a nice guy he is. Also there are rumors about what Boo supposedly does at night such as peeking through windows or eating animals. “Boo was about sixandahalf feet tall; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time”(15). This is showing the prejudice side to his story and what he has to live through, but in the end Scout finds out that none of these
myths were true, but because that is just one person the people in Maycomb still haven’t seen what he really looks like, so the rumors about him will still go on ad infinitum.
The second main character affected by prejudice is Tom Robinson. Tom Robinson is an
AfricanAmerican. We learn from the book that Tom Robinson was being accused of raping
Mayella Ewell, who is Bob Ewell’s daughter. “I see that black negro ruttin’ on my
Mayella”(173). This quote shows racism and prejudice because white people had more power over colored so whites would just accuse colored people of anything they didn’t do, just like what Bob Ewell did. He did his very best to make himself sound very convincing, and that he saw him raping his daughter. Atticus then pulls facts out of the evidence to prove Tom
Robinson’s innocence. At the end of the case the jury accused Tom Robinson guilty even though they didn’t have proof that he actually did it. When Tom Robinson died trying to escape the jail people were in shock but also they knew it was going to happen. “Typical of a nigger to cut and run”(240). This shows how white people think of colored people and how bad they are, but they are really not. They don’t realize that they are also people and they are just like them.
Last but not least there is the Finch family. Scout and Jem both are victims of prejudice when they first went to a colored church with Calpurnia. “You ain’t got no business