To Kill a Mockingbird Summary
A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteedOrder Now
Ms. Ria Singh English B To Kill a Mockingbird. Discuss the theme of appearance vs reality in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. In Harper Lees novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the theme of appearance vs reality is a very prevalent one. In the novel, there are two types of prejudice presented, that is racial prejudice and social prejudice. Racial prejudice is presented throughout the novel by the people of Maycomb. Racial prejudice is best depicted in the Tom Robinsons trial.
Tom Robinson is an African American man who was misjudged and mistreated due his black skin colour, he was accused of raping a white girl. Mayella Ewell. Tom is seen as being worthless and guilty by the white folks of the town, however Tom Robinson is not the image of blacks that the whites have created, instead he is loving, kind and compassionate towards others, this is an example to show societys failure to see past a characters appearance. In our courts, when its a white mans word against a black mans, the white man always win, this quote shows the unfair treatment towards the black community. Society quickly judged Tom Robinson because of his skin colour.
There is one person that doesnt believe in racial prejudice, that is Atticus Finch, he doesnt believe in discriminating a person because of the colour of their skin, this is seen when he defends Tom in the trial. However, even with evidence to prove Toms innocent, the jury says that he is still guilty because he is black. This shows that no matter what, the blacks will always be seen as inferior by the white folks. Another type of prejudice that is presented throughout the novel is social prejudice. Some of the members of the Maycomb society is discriminated against by others due to their social status. Aunt Alexandra contributes to this because her whole attitude is based on social status.
She thinks that she is of higher social status than most people residing in Maycomb, including the Cunninghams, whom she refers to as trash. Aunt Alexandras trashy view of Walter Cunningham, Scouts friend is based on the fact that he belongs to a very poor family, therefore giving them a lower social status. Another family who is a victim of social prejudice is the Ewell family. The family, despite being white, is looked down upon by other white folks because of their dishonesty and laziness. One of the family member, Burris uses very foul language, Aint no snot-nosted slut of a school teacher ever born cn make me nothing, his use of language shows his level of education and respect.
Even though the Ewells are one of the lowest status of whites, they are still seen as superior than the blacks. Boo Radley is a victim of social prejudice as well. He and his family all suffer from social prejudice because Boo hasnt been seen for years. There is a lot of rumors of Boo Radley. He is said to be six feet tall with a scar running across his face and has yellow teeth. Boo remains a mystery to the Maycomb society.
Despite being thought of as a phantom Boo is very caring and gentle towards everyone, this is seen when he places a blanket over Scout when she was cold during the night when miss.Maudies house caught on fire. I looked down and found myself clutching a brown woollen blanket I was wearing around my shoulder, during the fire at miss.Maudies home, Boo had quietly placed a blanket around to keep her warm. This small gesture showed a compasiionate side of Boo. Tom Robinson and Boo Radley are both seen as mockingbirds in the novel. A mockingbird symbolises kindness, innocence and harmlessness. Boo showed his kindness towards the children by leaving gifts for them.
Mr.Dolphus Raymond is seen as a drunk who is always drinking out of a paper bag and cannot think straight. Due to his appearance to society, the members of Maycomb condones both his lifestyle and choices. Mr.Dolphus is a white man who has an interracial marriage with an African-American woman, however this type of marriage is extremely rare in the time period of the novel. Even though Mr.Dolphus is seen as a drunk to society, he is very understanding and he is one of the few people who is against racism. He looks deeper than peoples appearance. During the trial, Mr.Dolphus explains to Jem, Scout and Dill that he only acts drunk to give people a reason to look past his lifestyle. Throughout this novel, we see that the Maycomb society is very judgemental because the people refuse to look past individuals appearances rather than getting to know them.