To Kill a Mockingbird| Prejudice| | | Prejudice In To Kill a Mockingbird you can see the terrible effects prejudice can have on people. In the story even the main characters Atticus Finch, Arthur Radley, and Tom Robinson receive prejudice from almost everyone in Maycomb, Alabama. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. ” In the Beginning there is the everlasting town legend of the gruesome Boo Radley. Throughout the town he is known as a monster for stabbing his father in the leg with a pair of scissors when he was a kid.
Even though no one in the town knows exactly what happened, they still believe the worst of Arthur Radley and are never willing to except that he made some mistakes, but is actually a good person. Another prejudicial act came from the Finch children and Dill, while they were acting out the events they had heard about Arthur Radley. As the children ended their acting they stopped with when Arthur Radley stabs his father in the leg with the pair of scissors. Even though the children have only heard the story retold to them, they accept it as the truth and joke about it.
The fun comes to an end when Atticus Finch sees the children making fun of the Radleys’ and orders them to stop immediately. The last tale that the town has to tell of poor Arthur Radley is that because of his size he is a savage that goes out at night eating squirrels and looking into peoples windows. In the minds of the children Arthur Radley was a tall, gross looking monster. His diet was mainly raw squirrels and a cat if he could catch it. This is how the legend explained his bloody hands; because the blood of raw animals wouldn’t wash off.
For his facial appearance the tale was that he had a large scar that ran across his face and his teeth were rotted. In the end of the story Scout finds that none of these cruel rumors are true. But because Arthur doesn’t like to be seen, the rumors will always continue. The second character affected by the town’s prejudicial ways is Atticus Finch. Scout notices that all of her friends have fathers who are much younger than Atticus and in her mind this means that Atticus cannot do the things that the other fathers are able to do with their children.
Because of his age Scout kind of assumes that there is nothing interesting about her father, but in fact Scout learns that her father is a very good gunman. The second time the town’s prejudice is towards Atticus is when he is called a “Ni**er lover” because he agreed to do his best and represent Mr. Robinson at trial. The last time prejudice towards Atticus is mentioned is when Bob Ewell spits on Atticus outside of the court house when he hears that Atticus will do his very best to defend Tom Robinson.
The last major instance of the town’s prejudice is towards a black field hand Tom Robinson. Tom is accused of raping a white woman named Mayella Ewell. Mayella is the daughter of an extremely racist man named Bob Ewell. Even though Tom did not rape Mayella, Bob Ewell lies and convinces the all-white jury of Tom’s guilt. Atticus does indeed give his best effort to prove that Tom Robinson did not rape Mayella but the all-white jury just can’t believe that Mayella was the one trying to seduce Tom Robinson.
Tom is sent to prison where he attempts to escape and is shot seventeen times by guards. Harper Lee’s novel To kill a Mockingbird shows how awful prejudice can be through her three main characters, Atticus Finch, Arthur Radley, and Tom Robinson. Atticus Finch is discriminated against for doing his best to defend Tom Robinson. Arthur Radley is thought of throughout the town as being a monster. And finally Tom Robinson because of his skin color is basically guilty before he even goes to trial. This novel shows how devastating prejudice can really be.