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Essay/Term paper: To kill a mockingbird: stereotypes

Essay, term paper, research paper:  To Kill a Mockingbird

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To Kill A Mockingbird: Stereotypes

The story, To Kill a Mockingbird is a very fine novel which exemplifies the
life in the south and the human rights and values given to everybody. The book
especially took the case of prejudice to a serious extreme. From the title, a
mockingbird through the eyes of Harper Lee, is a person who has fallen victim
to vicious stereotypes. The title To Kill a Mockingbird explains itself quite
clearly in the end of the novel when Tom Robinson, one of the mockingbirds, is
killed due to the stereotypes dumped upon him. Often, the use of stereotypes
just breaks down the real truth of a person.
When stereotypes of Boo are used, the truth is often obscured. "You'll get
killed if you touch that tree"(pg 38) This quote reveals that the two siblings
felt that Boo was a harmful person because of false rumors. Stereotypes are
easily picked up, and used to horrible extreme when a large majority of people
use them. This was the case with Scout and Jem when they picked up on the
stereotypes going around the neighborhood about Boo. "When I got there, my
breeches were all folded and sewn up"(pg 63) When Boo sewed Jem's breeches
together, this was a sign from Boo to let the children realize what a kind and
pleasant man he really was. Also, Boo was considerate enough to save Jem from a
couple of whippings, because after all, if Atticus were to see the torn pants he
would have known Jem was the culprit in the Radley's yard. "You were so busy
looking at the fire, you didn't notice Boo behind you"(pg 76) This was also a
symbol which Boo shared to let the kids slowly realize the truth about him, that
he was an innocuous caring person hiding behind a fading shadow. Boo just
wanted to be seen as the real him instead of the horrid stereotypes which
deformed his image.
Misconceptions are results of prejudice in Jehovah's Witnesses' case. When
they come strolling up people's street, the first reactions to the neighborhood
is to lock the door. They lock their doors because they hear the jokes and
prejudice against Jehovah's Witness which puts the thought in people's minds
that Jehovah's Witness is just a joke. On the other hand, many are already
faithful followers to their own religion and don't want to waste the time
listening to a mini sermon. Often times, Jehovah's Witness are ridiculed by
members of other religions. When this occurs, members of the Jehovah's Witness
feel uneasy about their religion, which lowers their self-esteem. Being
prejudice towards a religion isn't very thoughtful considering that the
Jehovah's Witness try their hardest to be faithful, while people mock at them
just for being a member of the Jehovah's Witness. Furthermore, in people's
minds, they feel that Jehovah's Witness are fanatic about converting peoples
religion. This is just a false stereotype about Jehovah's Witness which is the
basis of prejudice towards Jehovah's Witness, that they are all "crazy about
converting people." These misconceptions are unfair, in that they are just out
there to spread the word of their god, but are being mocked while they do.
Homeless people often fall victim to prejudice which makes them
mockingbirds. In the streets, they are avoided practically by everybody in sight.
These actions are due to stereotypes about them, such as they're all dirty and
dangerous which is totally false. When they are avoided due to these cruel
misconceptions, they don't have the chance to prove themselves as being a part
of the society from where they are banned, which is highly unfortunate. In
society, people are rude and mean to the homeless because of the prejudice
surrounding them. These harsh acts are typical of people when they encounter a
difference between themselves and some on else. When rudeness is the result of
prejudice, the reason for being rude is that the person is a coward and must
show his/her fear in anger. This is so because most people can not face the
fact that people are different in a society like ours.. A lot of times,
homeless people keep to themselves. The reason to this act is due to their
fearful feelings towards the human society. They fear that if they try to come
out of their of their own little society, we will mock and treat them as
entirely unwanted guests which is probably true.
Misconceptions and stereotypes often lead up to prejudice. In order for us
to stop creating mockingbirds, we must all look at things from every angle and
have an open mind, without which, you are doomed to be tainted by the world's
obviousness. Remembering this, you will find out that "most people are nice...
when you finally meet them.."(pg 284)


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