Exploration the Theme of Prejudice in Harper Lee's
Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird is set in Maycomb county, Alabama during the 1930s. The main theme is in the form of prejudice; age, gender, race, and the classification of people according to their social class. Prejudice is very well explored in this novel, especially racism. During the 1930s blacks were highly discriminated and life was also hard in those days, due to high levels of poverty. Lee uses each character to expose each type of prejudice and how they correspond with the story line of the novel.
A less significant prejudice in the novel is age. Scout thinks that Atticus is too old and feeble to play around with her and Jem anymore. Jem thinks that he is too old and tired to play football. Scout compares his age to her friends' parents who are usually much younger. Jem and Scout also think that he is very boring and does not do what other fathers would do, "He did not do things our schoolmates' fathers did; he never went hunting, he did not play poker or fish or drink or smoke." Page 95. This age prejudice does not occur only between Jem, Scout, and Atticus but it also occurs between Jem and Scout. Jem wishes that sometimes Scout would go and play with her friends instead of following Jem around because she's too young.
Jem is not only prejudiced towards Scout regarding age differences; he is also prejudiced towards Scout about her gender. Sometimes Jem wishes that Scout would act more like a girl so that she could play with her own friends or toys instead of following Jem around, "It's time you started bein' a girl and acting right!" page 121. As Jem is her older brother, he has influenced Scout very much in many ways and she acts so boyish that sometimes Aunt Alexandra criticizes Atticus for how he has brought up the children. Aunt Alexandra does not like the fact that Scout wears overalls, she believes that is not very lady-like. "...it w... Continues...