Prejudice, the act of judging someone based on outward appearance or social standing. In the 1960’s Harper Lee wrote a book called To Kill a Mockingbird, about prejudice and how hard the times were. In To Kill a Mockingbird, there are many examples of prejudice showing how morally wrong it was. There are several examples of prejudice in the book: Tom Robinson because he is African American, Boo Radley because of his standing in their society, and the Cunningham Family because of how poor they were.
The following paragraphs will discuss these examples.Tom Robinson was one example of prejudice because he was African American. “You felt sorry for her? You felt sorry for her?’ Mr. Gilmer was ready to rise to the ceiling” (Lee, 197).
This is when Tom Robinson is on trial for being falsely accused of raping Mayella Ewell. The people thought it was not right for Tom Robinson to feel sorry for Mayella because he was black and she was white. “Tom, did you rape Mayella Ewell?” (Lee, 196) The fact that Tom was even brought on trial was an act of prejudice. In courts today the case wouldn’t even had made it to court and here they are accusing him anyways. Tom Robinson being convicted was the biggest act of prejudice in his case.
There was no evidence against him to convict him with. The only reason he was convicted was because it was a white jury and he was African American. These were examples of racial prejudice which was very prevalent in those times; also common was social prejudice, as in the Cunningham’s case.The Cunningham family was an example of social prejudice because they were poor. “Miss Caroline, he’s a Cunningham” (Lee, 20). This is when they are in class and Miss Caroline is trying to give him lunch money. Scout tells her he is poor and won’t be able to pay her back and is too proud to take it.
“He ain’t company, Cal, he’s just a Cunningham” (Lee, 25). They invited Walter back to the house for lunch and he poured syrup all over his food and Scout gets on his case about it. Cal tells her she shouldn’t do that and she implies that it doesn’t matter what they say to him he is just a Cunningham, she is being prejudiced because she knows he is poor.
Another reason people are prejudiced to the Cunninghams is because they have to pay with crops. Atticus told Scout that the Cunninghams paid them with potatoes. That is probably why she is so bad to Walter. This is one example of social prejudice, another is Boo Radley. Boo Radley is an example of social prejudice, but not because he is poor.
People didn’t try to make any contact with him. He was locked up in his house for 25 years. During that span only the doctor had contact with him. Also, people made up horrible rumors about Boo. They said he lurked around at night.
They even said “he at cats” (Lee, 46). The children were also prejudice towards Boo. They were scared to go to the Radley house. They even ran by his house because they were scared. All in all, just about everyone in the book was prejudice towards Boo Radley.In To Kill a Mockingbird there were many examples of prejudice, but the three that stuck out were Tom Robinson, Boo Radley, and the Cunningham Family.
In conclusion, I was disgusted at the moral wrongness of these instances.