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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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 Give two examples that prove the theme "prejudice and racism thrive in societies with rigid class rules/structures" and explain. For example, the fact that Mayella "tempted" a black individual was considered a "crime"

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The assumption is that examples in the novel will be exclusively those that show racism by whites against blacks. Lee, however, shows that prejudice--not only based upon race--is rampant in a town like Maycomb. Many such cases are unexpected, but each shows that there are expectations for those who occupy certain stations in society. The poorest, including the  Ewells, are "trash," Miss Maudie is criticised by "foot-washing Baptists" because she grows flowers in her garden, and of course Arthur Radley is "Boo," a monster. In chapter twelve, even the Finch children are the victims of prejudice as the approach Calupurnia's church.

The novel is full of examples of prejudice as Scout discovers just what the town's expectations are. The most obvious are the "codes" that Tom Robinson breaks by showing compassion to a white woman, but even the Missionary Society's hypocritical stance on race relations, Scout's requirement to become Jean Louise in a dress, and little Walter Cunningham's lunchless school days are examples.

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