What are some quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird that show the characters being marginalized and people being prejudiced against them???i am working on an essay right now and i just can't seem to...

What are some quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird that show the characters being marginalized and people being prejudiced against them???

i am working on an essay right now and i just can't seem to find any quotes in the book for my topic, please help!

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 16, the children travel to the courthouse where the entire community is gathering for the Tom Robinson trial. Jem begins to comment on various community members before he notices Dolphus Raymond, a social outcast in Maycomb's community. Dolphus is a wealthy white man, who openly has relations with black people, which is considered a social taboo. He also has several biracial children. Jem's comments depict the prejudice and marginalization of biracial citizens in the Deep South when he explains the definition of a mixed-child. Jem tells Scout,

"Half white, half colored. You’ve seen ‘em, Scout. You know that red-kinky- headed one that delivers for the drugstore. He’s half white. They’re real sad...They don’t belong anywhere. Colored folks won’t have ‘em because they’re half white; white folks won’t have ’em cause they’re colored, so they’re just in-betweens, don’t belong anywhere" (Lee, 99).

Following Tom Robinson's death, Scout reads Mr. Underwood's editorial in The Maycomb Tribune and contemplates the community's perception of what happened to Tom Robinson. Scout reiterates the racist comments she hears throughout her community concerning Tom Robinson's death by saying,

"To Maycomb, Tom’s death was typical. Typical of a nigger to cut and run. Typical of a nigger’s mentality to have no plan, no thought for the future, just run blind first chance he saw. Funny thing, Atticus Finch might’ve got him off scot free, but wait—? Hell no. You know how they are. Easy come, easy go. Just shows you, that Robinson boy was legally married, they say he kept himself clean, went to church and all that, but when it comes down to the line the veneer’s mighty thin. Nigger always comes out in ‘em" (Lee, 146).

Throughout chapter 27, Scout recognizes the hypocrisy and prejudice of her teacher, Miss Gates, when she recalls overhearing Miss Gates's comments while she left the Tom Robinson trial. Miss Gates's comments reveal her prejudice toward African Americans as Scout reiterates her statements by saying,

"I heard her say it’s time somebody taught ’em a lesson, they were gettin‘ way above themselves, an’ the next thing they think they can do is marry us" (Lee, 151).

lhc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My favorite quote on this topic is when Atticus wryly comments, "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up is something I don't pretend to understand."  He is referring, of course, to the completely irrational fear of and prejudice toward blacks in general, and Tom Robinson in particular, that has led to Robinson's trial.  Everyone in Maycomb was well aware that Bob Ewell was a drunk, and an abusive father, a complete bottom dweller. . .yet in the Depression-era South, even a disgusting human like Bob Ewell could feel superior to an African-American.   

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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