To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
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What is the main theme in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Arguably the main theme in the book is social prejudice and its detrimental effects. The story explores all types of social prejudice, most dramatically in the form of racism with Tom Robinson's trial. However, racism is only one aspect of the issue. Prejudice is shown to be pervasive and wide-ranging, certainly in a cramped, conservative little town like Maycomb. Society in this town is rigidly divided along lines of race, class and gender. The oppression of blacks - segregated, impoverished, and regarded as fair game for abuse and accusations - is obvious. There are only a few enlightened individuals, like Atticus, Miss Maudie, and Heck Tate, that are able and willing to see past a person's skin colour.

Class prejudice is also rife in this community. Aunt Alexandra does not allow Scout and Jem to mix with people of a lower social class, like the Cunninghams, to...

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