What are three topic sentences that express the messages the novel To Kill a Mockingbird conveys about prejudice?
I am writing an essay about this and I need three topic sentences and if possible some hints on quotes.
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One of the joys of reading To Kill a Mockingbird is witnessing Atticus teach his children about life. He is the antithesis (opposite) of all the negative worldly things that they witness at school and in the neighborhood and in Maycomb in general. The idea of racism is present throughout most of the story, as Atticus tries to defend Tom Robinson not only from his murder charge but also from the ugly attitudes of so many of the townspeople.
Atticus does not share in the hateful, racist attitudes of his fellow citizens, and he is trying mightily to teach Jem and Scout not to also. He has a far reaching view of the effects of such racism. He isn’t merely worried about the Tom Robinson case. Look at the following quote:
"There's nothing more sickening to me than a low-grade white man who'll take advantage of a Negro's ignorance. Don't fool yourselves – it's all adding up and one of these days we're going to pay the bill for it. I hope it's not in you children's time."
Atticus is saying that you can’t mistreat an entire race without someday facing the consequences.
The novel To Kill A Mockingbird discusses prejudice of many sorts and in many ways. The narrator, a young girl named Scout, has both youthful innocence and a father who tries to raise his children without the prejudices of their community. An example topic sentence for an essay on this could be:
Prejudice, as seen through the eyes of an innocent and well-raised child, is an inexplicable curiosity which she learns of slowly.
A quote related to this is on page 226, when Scout says, "Why didn't Tom's jury made up of folks like the Cunninghams, acquit Tom to spite the Ewells?" Scout here sees that the Cunninghams and the Ewells dislike one another but does not understand that both of these families are white and have more prejudice against the black defendant in this trial than against one another.
Another thesis could be on the symbolic title of the novel:
The mockingbird, a symbol of purity and innocence, represents Tom in the novel, despite a prejudiced jury's assumption of his guilt.
Finally, there is prejudice shown by characters in the novel who believe that they are the ones whom it hurts. This theme could be explored with the following thesis:
Prejudice in this novel affects every member of the community and is perpetuated even by those who are hurt by it.
This is shown when a character shows anger that Calpurnia has brought Scout and Jem to the "black" church, when Lula says, "I wants to know why you bringin' white chillun to nigger church" (119).
Where is that quote found in the book?
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