Discuss the prejudice that Tom Robinson, Boo Radley, and Dolphus Raymond face in To Kill a Mockingbird. Including quotes would be helpful.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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These three characters from To Kill a Mockingbird face different kinds of prejudicial treatment during the novel. As a Negro, Tom Robinson faced the racial prejudice that many blacks endured during the 1930s in the Deep South. Alabama, like many Southern states, had laws regarding the segregation of blacks and whites; socializing between the races in public places was illegal in many areas. Yet Tom, being the friendly man that he was, sympathized with Mayella, and he attempted to help her without realizing he was being lured into the Ewell house for other reasons. He was accused of raping Mayella; such a charge would not have occurred if their colors had been reversed. He was found guilty by an all-white jury, all of whom were apparently biased against the color of Tom's skin. As Atticus probably already knew, Tom was guilty the second he stepped into the Ewell household.

Dolphus Raymond also faced the wrath of much of Maycomb's white population, but not because he was black: A wealthy white man, Raymond lived with his Negro mistress--a sin almost as serious as the accusations against Tom. Mixing of the races was considered a cardinal sin in the Deep South, and Raymond was castigated by most of white Maycomb. Because of this personal decision, many people also considered him mentally unstable, and many of Raymond's actions (specifically weaving down the sidewalks with a bottle in a paper bag) seemed to support this conclusion.

Boo Radley, like Raymond, was considered mentally unstable, and rumors that had followed him for more than a decade had been accepted by the people of Maycomb as fact. Although he was never seen, he was blamed for most of the unexplainable crimes in the town, and many children avoided walking by the Radley house, even though it was located next to the school. Like the unfounded accusations against both Tom Robinson and Dolphus Raymond, the ones against Boo were untrue, and all three men were merely trying to live their lives in the manner they wished.