The Effects Of Prejudice In To Kill — страница 2

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“What exactly is a nigger-lover?”(108). Atticus responds to Scout and explains the term to her so that her ignorance will no longer bother her. Jem is also faced with a similar situation with Mrs. Dubose. She tells Jem, “Your father is no better than the niggers and trash he works for”(102). Jem understands what Mrs. Dubose says and lashes back at her destroying her flowers. Jem and Scout also hear Aunt Alexandra and Atticus arguing one night “she won’t let him alone about Tom Robinson. She almost said Atticus was disgracin’ the family”(147). These comments are hard for the children and Atticus. Tom Robinson is a victim of prejudice in Maycomb because of his race. Tom is black and accused of raping a white woman. Being a Negro in Maycomb during the nineteen

thirties is difficult. During the trial Mr. Gilmer insinuates that Tom is guilty of raping Mayella Ewell because he has a previous conviction. Mr. Gilmer posed the question, ‘What did the nigger look like when you got through with him?’? Atticus raised his head ‘it was a misdemeanor and it’s in the record’(196). By reason of Tom’s inferior skin color he is judged to be a hurtful person in society. Tom Robinson fleas the Ewell’s home after Mr. Ewell sees Mayella kiss him. At this point Tom has no other alternative. Mr. Gilmer questions Tom, ‘Why did you run so fast?’? ‘It weren’t safe for any nigger to be in a-fix like that.’? ‘you weren’t in a fix? were you scared she was going to hurt you?’? “No suh, I’s scared I’d be in court?scared I’d

hafta face up to what I didn’t do”(198) In the thirties a white person’s word is superior to that of a black person’s. Mr. Gilmer demonstrates this as he cross examines Tom on the witness stand. Mr. Gilmer questions Tom’s word, ‘you say she’s lying, boy?’(197). This proves that even if Mayella is lying, the White community will believe her before the believe any honest or dishonest Black. Tom Robinson is unfairly treated on the witness stand by Mr. Gilmer. Mr. Gilmer, the prosecuting attorney is disrespectful towards Tom. He treats Tom as if he is a child and refers to him as “boy”(197) when he is in fact a grown man with a family. Dill realizes ‘that old Mr. Gilmer doin’ him thataway, talking so hateful to him’(198). Mr. Gilmer is also disrespectful to

the Black race referring to them as “niggers”(196) throughout out the trial. The town of Maycomb displays prejudice against Boo Radley, Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson in different ways. They are all indefensible in society and there is nothing they can say or do to prevent discrimination against themselves. By the end of the novel, Maycomb seems to begin a positive change from prejudice. Society is now beginning to understand that Boo, Atticus and Tom’s differences are what give them character and without their differences, life in Maycomb would be monotonous.