To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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Many characters in To Kill a Mockingbird are outsiders in their society. How does Harper Lee try to change our attitude towards outsiders?

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Hollis Sanders eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It could be said that the entire narrative of To Kill a Mockingbird is a challenge against society's preconceived notions of certain marginalized people. This can be racial, such as in the case of Tom Robinson, class-based, such as in the case of Walter Cunningham, or even personal, such as in the case of Boo Radley.

In the case of Robinson, this outsider status is both based on the unchangeable factor of race and is institutional. Robinson is very clearly innocent to anyone with basic reasoning ability, and yet even these reasonable characters understand how soundly the odds are stacked against him. Many people do not take an interest in the plight of a perfectly innocent man due to a simple devotion to the status quo.

Walter Cunningham suffers from being an outsider due to being incredibly poor, despite his inclusion in a white institution. He suffers from constant embarrassment, such as not being able to bring food or shoes to school. Like the other Cunninghams, he would rather suffer from...

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melissazamora7 | Student

Harper Lee shows us that we judge people without knowing what they had to go through. We can see that everybody judges outsiders because theyre different and arent exactly like society and we need to know that what really matters is what is inside not rumors or things other people say. 

dartharceus | Student
she tries to tell us that outsiders are not as bad as they seem.we should put ourselves in their shoes and try to accept them, just like you would wish to when you are the outsider