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Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird


Bias In To Kill A Mockingbird

!.?. !? Jocelyn Dawson Ms. Gullette H. Freshman English 11 January 2014 Bias and Predisposition in To Kill a Mockingbird The Webster’s Dictionary meaning of bias is “an unfavorable viewpoint or sensation formed in advance or without knowledge, thought, or factor.” Prejudice can create fallacious bias towards a subject or person. In the book To Eliminate a Mockingbird, Harper Lee develops Jem and Scout to support her viewpoint on the topic of prejudice and bias.

Lee depicts Jem and Scout and their relationships with other characters in the unique to demonstrate how prejudice is created through initial impressions and is over come over very first hand experiences with the issue. Jem and his relationship with Mrs. Dubose reveal that bias is created by preliminary impressions and is conquered by first hand experiences with the issue. In the middle of the novel Jem and Scout are walking into town, minding their own company when they pass Mrs. Dubose, when she begins to pester Jem.

Stating her predisposition that his “daddy was no better than the niggers and garbage he works for” (102 ). This statement of blatant ignorance provides Jem the conception that Mrs. Dubose is just an old lady with nothing better to do than torture 2 children; he forms this idea of bias concerning Mrs. Dubose. The repercussion of Dubose’s presumption triggers Jem to act imprudently,” [Jem] did not start to relax until he had cut off the tops of every camellia bush Mrs. Dubose had actually owned” (103 ). This outburst was an outcome of Mrs. Dubose’s revulsion towards Atticus and his approval to racial equality.

In turn she produces hostility between Jem and Scout; throughout this point in the book Jem and Mrs. Dubose both have a shared spite due to their preconceived bias. The consequence for Jem’s outburst was to read to Mrs. Dubose daily. Later on in the book the frail female dies after having Jem pertain to check out to her for a solid month. Atticus breaks the news to Jem exposing that “Mrs. Dubose was a morphine addict” (111 ). Jem was awe struck, he never depicted Mrs. Dubose to be an addict, and he was blinded by his prejudice towards her. As a type of Mrs.

Dubose’s gratitude she had her daughter prepare a “best camellia” (111) for Jem comparable to the very ones he had actually destroyed. Later that night Scout observes Jem in bed “fingering the large petals” (112) Lee uses this subtle gesture to show the reader that in that minute Jem was at peace with Mrs. Dubose, and her to him. He overcame his predisposition as soon as he got to know her in depth; he put aside his distinctions and read to her, and in turn over came his bias. Similarly to Jem and Dubose’s initial spiteful relationship, Scout overcomes prejudice and predisposition towards Boo Radley through firsthand experiences.

In the start of the book Scout is paraphrasing what she has actually heard through an unreliable source, Miss Stephanie. She is certain that “Boo [Radley] drove scissors into his parent’s pant leg, pulled them out and continued his [daily] activities” (11 ). This act of non provoked violence causes Scout to form some bias that Boo is a terrible sociopath when in reality Scout has never even satisfied the reclusive Boo. Later in the book Scout, still possessed by her powerful predisposition towards Boo is worry stricken. When she was playing in the tire and rolled into “the Radley Place steps in front of [her] Scout] froze” (38 ). The reader can presume that Scout is alarmed by the idea of Boo Radley, for he may” [drive] scissors” into her own “pant leg” her prejudice remains undeviating. After Bob Ewell’s death Scout and Atticus acknowledge that Boo Radley saved both Scout and Jem. Scout is so grateful she feels in financial obligation of Boo for “he gave [them] two soap dolls, a damaged watch and chains, a pair of lucky pennies, and [their] lives” (278 ). After the fight Boo Radley peers at unconscious Jem on the table and strokes his hair. Right after, Boo’s “hand tightened on [Scout’s indicating] that he wished to leave. Scout] led him to the front deck, where his anxious steps stopped. He was still holding [Scout’s] hand and he gave no sign of letting [her] go” (277 ). Both Boo and Scout are comfortable with each other, so comfortable that they are holding hands. This moment could’ve only been attained by Scout meeting the infamous Boo who she understands isn’t so horrendous. She conquered her prejudice of Boo by getting to know the real Boo and really satisfying him and his character personally Jem and Scout’s improvement throughout the novel To Eliminate a Mockingbird shows the development and death of prejudice and predisposition.

Their relationships with other characters show how bias is created through deceptive preliminary impressions and is only gotten rid of by very first hand experiences with the matter. Lee developed this book during the mid 1950’s, a time when stress about racial prejudice were high, as readers we should recognize that initial impressions are important to get rid of in order to prevent the continuation of bias and bias. Without getting rid of prejudice the world would be a dystopia loaded with spite and ignorance towards others.

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