Discrimination in To Kill a Mockingbird Free Essay Example

March 29, 2021 by Essay Writer

Roughly nine-in-ten (88%) of black Americans, including solid majorities across all demographic groups, say more needs to be done to achieve racial equality (Pew Research Center, Social & Demographic trends, Discrimination and racial inequality). In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, there are many times when racial inequality occurs. These instances play a major part in plot structures and glue the entire story together. Prejudice against blacks does not just affect the small minor conflicts of the book; it affects the entire story line and the ending of the book.

To begin, on page 75 the main character Scout and her brother Jem are bullied because their father is defending a black man (Lee 75), also on page 119 Calpurnia brings Scout and Jem to the First Purchase Church and the blacks do not all accept them (Lee 119). These two examples show how Scout matures and loses innocence throughout To Kill a Mockingbird. The two children, Scout and Jem, are not only tormented at school, but along the streets by Ms.

Even though the conflicts show great examples of prejudice, the time period also has a lot to do with the racism in the story. To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in the 1930s and in a small town in Alabama called Maycomb. This town kind of reminds me of the town I live in. The setting of the story might make the town behind on change and new ideas, like accepting different skin colors. The story takes place in the past when blacks were not yet trusted. They were criticized and thought less of by people in society. By 1932, approximately half of black Americans were out of work (Library of Congress, Great Depression and World War 2). It was difficult for them to find work and that shows examples of prejudice in the real world. In To Kill a Mockingbird the time period connects very strongly to the events that took place outside of the book.

The third thing that can back up how prejudice affects the ending of the story is character personalities. Like how Bob Ewell is made out to be an antagonist. The author shows how he is grumpy and the fact that he beat his daughter really shows how terrible of a person he is. Ms. Dubose is calling the kids names and again, the author makes her sound like a terrible person until the reader finds out about her morphine addiction. Both Bob Ewell and Ms. Dubose are prejudice against blacks and antagonists to different conflicts. The kids at school bullying Scout are probably learning prejudice from their parent’s examples and start another cycle of racism. The author makes the kids out to be very mean while they are only following in their parent’s footsteps.

Finally, this essay helps prove my opinion that prejudice and racism is necessary for the story to occur. It affects most of the conflicts and overall the ending of the book. Criticism against blacks tends to be looked down on today and that is a good thing. The author helps show that prejudice is a bad thing throughout To Kill a Mockingbird and that really helps me understand why prejudice is a main theme in the Book. If prejudice had not occurred in the book it would not have made sense and would be a very boring story.


  • Author, No. “Discrimination and Racial Inequality.” Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, 27 June 2016.October 24, 2018
  • “Race During the Great Depression – American Memory Timeline- Classroom Presentation | Teacher Resources.” Library of Congress. October 24, 2018


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