Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is mostly about the effects and consequences of prejudice. Many of the townsfolk are prejudiced against and demonstrate their hatred of Tom, Boo, Atticus, Jem, Scout, and Walter. These people are the main victims of the town’s hatred. The prejudice against black people is the strongest form of Maycomb’s hatred.
Obviously, Tom Robinson is discriminated against the most. He is falsely accused of rape by Bob and Mayella Ewell. Although there is no evidence against him, he is still found guilty by the jury. Tom ultimately dies from this prejudice when he tries to escape from jail and is shot 17 times. Even his death shows prejudice, there is no way it took 17 shots to stop him but since he was black that made him lesser of a person in the eyes of the town.
Boo Radley is prejudiced against in an odd way. The town thinks he is an outcast and a killer. He is just a very religious man who is avoiding the prejudice shown by the town by being secluded. Even the kids of the town show their discrimination against him. They speculate he is a crazy, maniacal killer. Jem, Scout and Dill show their prejudice against him by playing their “Boo games”. These show they are willing to go on rumors and beliefs put out by the community.
Atticus is judged for a horrible reason, he is defending Tom Robinson. Because he is defending a black man, the whole town is riled against him. At one point a whole mob approaches Atticus at the prison, possibly to kill or injure Tom or Atticus. The situation is defused by Jem and Scout’s arrival. This shows the intense hatred of black people and those who defend them.
Jem and Scout are prejudiced against because their father is a “n*****-lover”. This prejudice effects Scout a lot more than it does Jem. Jem manages to ignore it while Scout gets infuriated by it. At one point she gets into a fight with her cousin about it and splits her knuckle on his front teeth. Both kids are commonly teased by the other children over their father doing the right thing.
Walter is prejudiced against because he is poor. The town people think that because he is a Cummingham he is penniless and unequal. Scout’s Aunt even says that he can’t stay over because the Finches don’t associate with the Cumminghams. This is an awful prejudice that occurs for no reason other than stature. Many people in the town are in a caste system that is decided by heritage.
Prejudice negatively affects the entire Maycomb County. It affects Tom, Boo and Atticus the most but almost the entire town is unfairly thought of. The prejudice shown changes people’s thoughts and minds and is the blame for the death of Bob Ewell and Tom Robinson.