In Chapter 20 in To Kill a Mockingbird, discuss the power of prejudice as shown in this chapter (ie: Dolphus and Mayella).

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Author Harper Lee contrasts the different attitudes of Maycomb's white population--particularly Dolphus Raymond, the Ewells, Atticus and the jury--in Chapter 20 of To Kill a Mockingbird. Dolphus and Atticus share similar views:

"Atticus says cheatin' a colored man is ten times worse than cheatin' a white man... Says it the worse thing you can do."

Atticus staunchly defends Tom, pointing out that

"This case is as simple as white and black."

Atticus lays the blame squarely on the Ewells--Mayella for tempting Tom, Bob for beating Mayella, and the both of them for concocting the story about Tom's rape. Bob actually seems to be enjoying the results of his actions as he "crowed" and cursed Tom from the witness stand. Mayella is a sympathetic character, but she shows no remorse for her false accusations against Tom. As for the jury, they acted exactly as Atticus knew they would: They sided with the Ewells, since

"In our courts, when it's a white man's word against a black man's, the white man always wins."

The racial intolerance that existed during the 1930s would continue for decades, but there would always be men like Atticus and Dolphus who would continue to

"Cry about the hell white people give colored folks, without even stopping to think that they're people, too."

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question