Harper Lee uses a motif, mocking birds, in most of the main characters to explore the theme of prejudice. She also uses characterisation to show the contrast of how it affects all of the characters in the novel to “To Kill A Mocking Bird”.
The Finches- Atticus, Jem and Scout- are all mocking birds. The name Finch suggests this.
Atticus was Harper Lee’s ideal man his only fault was that he was too idealistic. Atticus didn’t see any place for prejudice of any kind. He defended a blackman Tom Robinson in a case that he knew would be very difficult to win and could totally change his life. Atticus was brave in doing this. He was “nigger lover” by several people but just took it in his stride. He even replied to Scout “I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody.”
He also tried to act the same around everyone. He was always polite to black people, undesirable people and the rest of Maycomb. He always called Mayella Miss Mayella. Mayella didn’t see this as him being polite and got annoyed “Long hew keeps on callin’ me ma’am an’ sayin’ Miss Mayella I don’t hefta take his sass.” Miss Maudie comments on this and says “he’s consistently polite”.
Atticus was clever and carefully planed out how he asked the questions during the court case. He asks Mayella about her family background before he questions her about the alleged rape. Similarly, he asks Tom about his previous convictions before he asks him about the situation with Mayella. He does this because he knows it will have a particular effect on the jury listening “Jem said Atticus was showing the jury that Tom had nothing to hide.”
CHAPTER 1-3 To Kill a Mocking-Bird (TKMB) by Harper Lee starts off by introducing the characters and the town of Maycomb. Characters including ‘The Radleys’, especially Boo Radley, and Dill Harris and in less detail the immediate family of Scout, who is narrating the story. Scout is a girl, she would be about six years old but is in the first grade. I find it amazing that she has such a wide ...
Scout is also a mocking bird and was affected by prejudice. She, like Atticus, was called a “nigger lover” and was nearly killed because Atticus defended Tom Robinson.
Scout started off quite prejudiced and would make fun or Boo Radley in the games she played with Jem and Dill. “Scout you can be Mrs Radley”. They didn’t understand about prejudice but Atticus taught her later to be nice to everybody like he was “I do my best to love everybody” and “You shouldn’t call them niggers you should call them Negros”
Calpurnia also influenced Scout. She was taught that politeness should be shown to all people even if their manner differ from yours “Don’t matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house yo’ comp’ny, and don’t let me catch you remarkin’ on other ways like you so high and mighty!”
Scout was a tomboy. She got into a few fights because she was defending what she thought was right. She fought her cousin because he said Atticus as a nigger lover” I guess it ain’t your fault if Uncle Atticus is a nigger lover, but I’m here to tell you it certainly does mortify the rest of the family.” To this Scout responded by jumping on him and fighting him “It was easy to collar Francis” Aunt Alexandra was sexist and constantly criticised the way Scout talked, dressed and acted “It’s time you started being a girl and acting right.”
Scout was polite to everybody and very honest but still spoke a little slang. She told a group of ladies that her breeches were under her dress “under my dress.”
Scout was able to make friends with almost anyone and was very loving towards her brother. She befriended Walter Cunningham. This was a shock to Aunt Alexandra and she didn’t want Scout to see him “Because-he-is-trash that’s why you can’t play with him, picking up his bad habits and Lord-knows-what!” Scout worshiped Jem and was very up set when he was knocked out unconscious “Auntie, is Jem dead?”
Scout was clever and wanted others to know about people like the Cunninghams. She tried explaining to her teacher but, but her teacher thought this stereotyping was offensive “Walters one of the Cunninghams, Miss Caroline.”
All scouts teachings helped her to respect others. At the black people’s church Scout didn’t ask many questions and respected their way of doing things.
Scout Finch is not the stereotypical girl from the 1930's. Agents the wishes of everyone around her, she grows up in overalls instead of dresses. Scout plays in the dirt and sand, instead of in the kitchen. In the novel To Kill a Mocking Bird, by Harper Lee, Scout is the wild spirited narrator, growing up in the small town of May comb. As she gets older, she learns mostly from her father Atticus ...
Tom Robinson is the most obvious character who adds to the theme of prejudice. He is also a mocking bird. He was targeted because of his race.
He was always polite. He always calls Judge Taylor and Atticus “Suh” which was his way of saying sir. He helped Mayella “She’d call me in, suh. Seemed like every time I passed by yonder she’d have some little somethin’ for me to do- choppin’ kindlin’, totin’ water for her.” Despite of this he was charged with rape. Mr Link Deas said he was a very good worker.
He talked with the Southern colloquialisms and dialect “She’d call me in, suh. Seemed like every time I passed by yonder she’d have some little somethin’ for me to do- choppin’ kindlin’, totin’ water for her.” This was similar to most of the black people in Maycomb.
The whole town wanted Tom to win but no one wanted to take the side of a black person over a white person- except Atticus “Did it ever strike you that judge Taylor naming Atticus to defend that boy was no accident?”
Boo Radley another mocking bird was also affected by prejudice. He was locked up by his parents, for doing one wrong thing, and only let out at night. He was very secretive. This gave others a wrong impression of him and people were scared of his ways. He would leave presents for Scout and Jem in a tree.
He was very kind and kept a careful eye over Jem and Scout. He came out with a blanket after the fire at Miss Maudie’s house. He saved their lives by stopping Bob Ewell stab Jem and Scout after Bob had lynched them.
Harper Lee’s view on prejudice is that it is very wrong and that people should change their opinions. This is noticeable through out the novel being the least prejudiced but at the end many people had changed their opinion about characters affected by prejudice.