What are examples of the definitions of anti-semitism and prejudice in literature?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, anti-semitism is defined as a "prejudice or hatred of, or discrimination against, Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage (Wikipedia, anti-semitism)." Prejudice is a preconceived opinion--positive or negative--about a person or thing based not upon past experience but, instead, such things as "gender, social class, age, disability, religion, sexuality, race/ethnicity, language, nationality or other personal characteristics (Wikipedia, prejudice)." A person who hates Jews is both prejudiced and anti-semitic; someone who hates black men--but not people of the Jewish faith--is prejudiced but not anti-semitic. Examples of both are numerous in literature. For example, in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Bob Ewell is prejudiced because he hates all black people (and nearly everyone else). He may be (and probably is) anti-semitic as well, but there is no evidence in the novel to support this. In Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, the character Robert Cohn faces anti-semitic hatred primarily because he is Jewish (although Cohn has other personal traits that cause people to disdain him as well).