To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Explain how Harper Lee develops the theme of prejudice in To Kill A Mockingbird.

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write9,110 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Two parallel stories explore the theme of prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird. To be prejudiced is to pre-judge a person based on some external characteristic, such as skin color or being reclusive, rather than to evaluate the person based on who they are on the inside.

The first way prejudice is explored is through the children's pre-judging of the reclusive Boo Radley as a fearful ogre or monster based on stories about him—some of them arising from their own imaginations. Because of their prejudice, it takes the children a long time to see the worth and humanity residing in this neighbor.

Likewise, racial prejudice means the white community of Maycomb prejudges Tom Robinson as being guilty of rape because he is a black man. It hardly even matters whether or not he committed the crime; if a white woman says he did, then he is guilty in the racist eyes of Maycomb. Even though Atticus is able to show that Robinson could not have raped...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 533 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

amy-lepore eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2005

write3,513 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

S.L. Watson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write580 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


bikathecreator | Student

How do i put this in Essay form? As in a body paragraph.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial