What are some examples of prejudice in chapters 10 and 11 in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Prejudice denotes by its prefix that a judgment has been made prior to any experience or proof of a judgment or opinion.

  • In Chapter, 10 the neighborhood busybody Stephanie Crawford comments on Atticus's having shot Tim Johnson's dog, who was staggering madly down the street,

"...I'd hate to see Harry Johnson's face when he gets in from the Mobile run and finds Atticus Finch's shot his dog. Bet he was just full of fleas from somewhere--"

Her judgment is that Atticus had no idea of what was really wrong with the dog. She, of course, has no facts on which to base this judgment.

  • In Chapter 11, Mrs. Dubose exhibits prejudice in her assumptions that Jem and Scout will turn out badly. She accuses them of "playing hooky" from school; she assumes that they lie ("Don't lie to me!"), telling them they will end up in "the reform school." She tells Scout, "You should be in a dress...You'll grow up waiting on tables if somebody doesn't change your ways..." Worse than these judgments, Mrs. Dubose says that Atticus is "no better than the n****rs and trash he works for!" and she calls him a "n****r lover," which means that he advocates for blacks ahead of anyone else. Fortunately, the children later learn that some of the horrible things that Mrs. Dubose has said are because she was drugged with morphine.
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