Looking Through the Window
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Looking Through the Window
Prejudice is a foggy window which we all look out of. It impairs not only sight, but also our thoughts and actions. When we look through the window, not everyone can see past the fog. Sometimes we see people and think they are our enemies when really they are just a little bit different then us, be they a different race or even a different sex. These prejudice views are not uncommon, even though most of the time they are wrong. To Kill a Mocking Bird presents many conflicting pictures of prejudice, the situations also show that prejudice can be overcome.
An example of viewing things differently is when Aunt Alexandra forbid Scout to play with Walter Cunningham, a poor boy whom Scout attends school with. This is because Aunt Alexandra sees Walter and his family as poor and beneath the Finches, in her words," …they’re good folks. But they’re not our kind of folks." Scout on the other hand doesn’t care about how much money Walter has but about his potential to be a friend. She doesn’t let irrelevant things like money cloud her judgment of people.
The most typical of all prejudice views is that of race. An example of this is during Tom Robinsons trial. Tom was a black man accused of raping a white woman, a crime that is punishable by the death penalty. Even though all the facts proved that he didn’t do it, the jury still found him guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt". Tom’s life has been sacrificed to racism by the people who were there to protect him. The justice system didn’t allow this man to have a fair trial because of the color of his skin. They disregarded his credibility or that of the other witnesses, all they could focus on was his race because that was all the window let them see.
Prejudice can be overcome if you let it. There are many people out there that are willing to lose everything they have to fight for what’s right. Take Atticus Finch for example, he knew that Tom wouldn’t win but he defended him anyway. He didn’t care what people thought, he just knew that the truth had to be heard even if it was not considered. The children also show that there is hope in the future for people to be nonjudgmental. They didn’t understand how a jury could convict a man whom they knew was innocent and it astonished them. Atticus explained to them that it has happened before and will happen again, sadly he also told them,"… when they do it – it seems that only the children weep. .."
Prejudice showed it’s face many times in To Kill a Mocking Bird, and in some of those instances it showed itself being overcome. From economical prejudice against the Cunninghams to racial prejudice against Tom Robinson, the book has displayed every aspect of how people can look through the window and see things completely differently then the person standing next to them. It’s situations like the ones presented in this book that make you angry that society gives people ideas like these to write about. If we can wipe the window clean, people who know what’s right wouldn’t have to hold the guilt for all those people who do wrong.
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Discrimination, To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch, Prejudice
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