What examples of prejudice are in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many examples of prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird. The most obvious example of prejudice is the trial of Tom Robinson. In short, an innocent, actually a very good innocent man, is put on trial and treated unfairly the whole time. He is found guilty in the midst of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Finally, he is shot in prison under suspicious circumstances. All of this shows prejudice. 

However, if we look at other areas of the book, more examples abound. Towards the end of the book, there is an episode in school. Miss Gates is talking about the evils of Hitler. She and presumably every other citizen in Maycomb can see the evils of what Hitler is attempting to do and also doing. Miss Gates is thankful that she lives in a democracy where all are treated equally. The irony is that Maycomb is racist and just put an innocent man to prison without a second thought. 

This dialogue at school shows the deep prejudice in Maycomb. It also shows the blindness and hypocrisy of Maycomb.

“‘Equal rights for all, special privileges for none,’” I quote.

“Very good, Jean Louise, very good,” Miss Gates smiled. In front of DEMOCRACY, she printed WE ARE A. “Now class, say it all together, ‘We are a democracy.’”

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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