Themes Of To Kill A Mockingbird

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade October 2001

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Themes of To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird brings out the themes of human emotion and vices. The book exposes many issues that affect most people throughout their lives. Man's inhumanity towards man, prejudice, and courage are three main themes vividly portrayed in this book. Prejudice reared it's ugly head many times and in many forms. Racial prejudice is perhaps the most evident in this story. To cite an instance, when the prosecutor was cross-examined Tom Robinson during the trial, the prosecutor used cruel terminology such as "boy" and made the witness feel afraid and inferior. Moreover, when the jury found Tom Robinson guilty, knowing that he did not commit the purported crime, but was convicted simply due to the color of his skin, showed the amount of prejudice held by society. Another example of racial prejudice is when Aunt Alexandra's missionary circle. The talk about black people using inappropriate terminology such as "darky."

Social prejudice, also found in this story, provides a better understanding of social convictions. The social prejudice is shown wonderfully through a "social ladder." The position on the ladder that a person might be at depends on skin color, family history, and social standing. If a person was black he would be at the bottom of the ladder even if his family had been on the same plot of land for many years, which in this book showed class. If a person were white he would automatically be above the black people due to the prejudices of this time in history. To illustrate, if a white person has a steady job, the ability to provide a good education and moral foundation for his children, and has respect from the community, then that person and his family would be at the top of...

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