To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

Submitted By nickkhoury2
Words: 1874
Pages: 8

Everyone, as much as they do not want to admit it, has thought prejudice comments about someone else. Likewise, everybody has had the immature thought that someone is going to do a certain thing based on their skin complexion. The history of man is severely tainted and splashed with the racist actions that are once preconceived thoughts. The great barrier of white people and black people is very evident in history. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by the author Harper Lee, the theme of prejudice between the white and the black people is evident. This novel takes place in the town of Maycomb, Alabama during the 1930’s. This story is told in the first person and is narrated by Jean Louise Finch (Scout), who is a little girl protagonist. Maycomb is a very uneventful town that is filled with racist white people who discriminate against the black people or people who associate with the opposite race. However, sometimes the black people do discriminate against a white person. As the story progresses, many events occur, like a trial against a black man, that are extremely racist. Using many actions of different characters, Lee illustrates the prejudice between the white and black people in this novel. One way Lee establishes the prejudice between the black and white people in this novel is by the actions of some African American citizens in the novel. Many characters in this narrative show distaste for the other race like the character Lula. Lula is a bitter black woman who is a part of the black church in Maycomb called “First Purchase”. In the novel, Calpurnia, Scout’s help in the house and her mother figure, brings Scout and her older brother Jem who are of white complexion to the black church in town. Immediately, this sparks a probably with Lula. Lula opens her mouth and begins to badmouth the children despite their innocence and her lack of knowledge of who they are: “I wants to know why you bringin’ white chillum to nigger church… You ain’t got no business bringin’ white chillum here—they got their church, we got our’n. It is our church ain’t it, Miss Cal?” (Lee 135-136). These comments by Lula show how some of the black-pigmented folk in Maycomb think all white people do not like them. Because of the way black people are treated in the novel, Lula has a prejudice opinion that Scout and Jem think themselves more highly than her. It is evident that Lula does not like white folks when Zeebo, the garbage collector, tries to explain to the children why Lula acted that way: “Don’t pay no ‘tention to Lula…She’s a troublemaker from way back, got fancy ideas an’ haughty ways” (Lee 136). The only need for Zeebo to say that about Lula is to try to make the children feel comfortable and to ensure them that they are not being judge at the black church where they are not necessarily accepted. This puts the children on the other end of racism where they feel how it is to be the victim of racist acts. This is shown when Jem starts to feel uncomfortable: “Let’s go home, Cal, they don’t want us here” (Lee 136). This shows how many black people have very prejudice opinions about how they think white people think of them. Another action that demonstrates prejudice in the novel is the way Calpurnia has to speak differently in front of her black community. The only reason a person is obligated to speak differently is when they need to fit in. Calpurnia know that if she does not speak “nigger talk”, which refers to the black people’s way of speaking, her fellow peers will condemn her. Coming from Calpurnia’s people that is a huge insult because they are labeling her as white. Just like how the white folks condemn white people who hang around black folk, Calpurnia would be condemn by the African-American people for being with the Caucasian people. When she is explaining to the children why she spoke like that, it is evident that she would not be accepted if she did otherwise: “It’s right hard to say… Suppose you and Scout talked