“There tried. In our courts, when it’s a white

“There is something in our world that makes men lose their heads…they couldn’t be fair if they tried. In our courts, when it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins. They’re ugly, but those are the fact of life.”(Lee,295) Prejudice against people who go against the social norms is a prominent occurrence throughout the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”. The novel that is narrated by the main character Scout Finch gives an innocent view of life in the town of Maycomb. A lot is learned about Scout’s father Atticus Finch, a lawyer who seeks to prove the innocence of Tom Robinson, a black man who was wrongfully convicted of rape; and about Boo Radley, a surreptitious neighbor who later on in the novel saves Scout and her brother Jem from being killed. The aim of this essay is to analyze how three incidents illustrate a theme of the novel and how that theme is relevant to a 2018 audience. Atticus Finch, Tom Robinson, and Mr. Dolphus Raymond are all characters in “To Kill a Mockingbird” who are victims of prejudice. However each of these characters is affected in different ways, and they all react differently.               In the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Atticus Finch is a victim of prejudice. His actions are criticized not only by the citizens of Maycomb but also by some of his family members such as his sister Alexandra. Atticus was constantly a topic of ridicule throughout the town after he was appointed to defend a black man. The people of Maycomb believe that Atticus should not strive to properly defend a black person. Based on the biased opinion of the townspeople, a black person is already guilty before the matter at hand is even brought to trial. “If I didn’t I couldn’t hold up my head in town, I couldn’t represent this county in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again.”(Lee,100) Atticus believes that by not defending Tom to the best of his abilities he would be going against his moral values. He does not believe in racism or prejudice, instead, he believes in equal rights. Apart from Tom Robinson’s trial, Atticus is constantly criticized for the way he raises his children. Aunt Alexandra throughout the novel makes remarks about Scout needing to be more feminine. Atticus however, made it clear that “I do the best I can with them!”(Lee,108) Miss Caroline, Scouts teacher is another example of a person who disagrees with the way Atticus is raising his children, she stated that Atticus’ letting Scout read was interfering with her reading.               Mr. Dolphus Raymond is another victim of prejudice in the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Mr. Raymond is a rich white man who comes from an old family, and he owns most of the land on one side of the riverbank. The people of Maycomb are however prejudice against him because he lives among the black people, he has a coloured partner, and he has “mixed” children. Mr. Raymond’s children due to their ethnicity are also victims of prejudice because they are accepted by neither the black or white folks of Maycomb. Mr. Raymond was well known as a drunk by the townspeople because he constantly drank from a brown paper bag and he often staggered around town. Despite his attempt to keep up the act, Mr. Raymond reveals his secret to Scout and Dill who learn that what was thought to be whiskey was actually Coca-Cola. “When I come to town, …if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can say Dolphus Raymond’s in the clutches of whiskey—that’s why he won’t change his ways. He can’t help himself, that’s why he lives the way he does”(Lee,268) Mr. Raymond goes on to explain to the children that he acts in this manner because the people of Maycomb would not understand why he lives the way he does because of their prejudices against black people. He believes that it would be easier to give them a reason to not to blame him for his chosen lifestyle choices. Mr. Raymond has to compromise his reputation in order to be allowed to live among the coloured folks of the town.               Unlike Atticus Finch and Mr. Dolphus Raymond, Tom Robinson is a black man and this is simply why he faces prejudice in the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Tom Robinson who fled from the home of the Ewell’s after Mayella Ewell was caught trying to kiss him was accused of rape. He was tried and found guilty although all evidence shows that he was not physically capable of committing such an act. Mr. Gilmer the prosecuting attorney,  treated Tom unfairly on the witness stand by twisting his words and using derogatory terms such as “nigger”. “That old Mr. Gilmer doin’ him thataway, talking so hateful to him”(Lee,265) Even Dill noticed the way that Mr. Gilmer treat Tom during the trial and it started to affect him. Mr. Gilmer several times throughout the trial tries to imply that Tom is Guilty. Whether it was by highlighting Tom’s previous conviction of which he was acquitted, asking Tom why he ran from the situation if he was not guilty of the crime, or by repeatedly stating the fact that Tom “felt sorry for Mayella”(Lee,264). In the end Tom was still judged based on his skin colour and the biases of the society in which he lived in, rather than the facts of the evidence.                 The town of Maycomb displayed prejudice towards Atticus Finch, Mr. Dolphus Raymond, and Tom Robinson because they went against social norms. The theme of prejudice is now relevant to a 2018 audience because we often come across the beliefs that “All powerful, career driven women are single and lonely. All Latinos are here illegally. All Muslims are terrorists. All White people are racist. All Gay Men are feminine. All Christians are bible thumping, gay bashers. All African Americans are on welfare. All New Yorkers are rude. All politicians are crooks.”(James, Bethany St. “Stereotyping and Prejudice Is Alive and Well in American Society.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 6 Feb. 2012.)