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How has Harper Lee showed us that prejudice rob us of our human dignity? (persuasive task)

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jaytranga | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 10, 2012 at 7:33 PM via web

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How has Harper Lee showed us that prejudice rob us of our human dignity? (persuasive task)

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kevstar | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted March 10, 2012 at 8:09 PM (Answer #1)

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Good question....The main type of prejudice in the book is racial prejudice, partly because at that time it was the most obvious type of prejudice, with many black people being unfairly treated because of their race. This is emphasised in the court scene in the book, in which Tom Robinson, a black man, is convicted of raping Mayella Ewell, who despite being incredibly poor, low status in Maycomb County, is a white girl, and so has seemingly more credibility than Tom, only because of her race. When the Scout, Jem and Dill hear this result, they are shocked and sickened, which is important because, as they will be the next generation, they will help to be the people who begin to end racial prejudice in the United States. Harper lee emphasises the amount of racial prejudice in the novel by showing the stark contrast in the treatment of white and black people in the book, for example the way black people are expected to sit in the gallery during the court case, while the white people are allowed to sit down in the stalls, closer to the events. Harper lee shows us that there is some hope through the character of Atticus, and also looking at the way the children are being brought up by him, they will turn out to be against prejudice. Harper lee seems to be against the prejudice shown in the novel, with most of the main characters being either victims of or against prejudice.

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