In the book To Kill a Mockingbird

In the book To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, discrimination is a central theme and is shown in many different ways throughout the story. By using these examples within the story, Harper Lee raises awareness about the problem of racism, prejudice and discrimination and describes the many effects it has on the people of Maycomb county and Jem and Scout.
Discrimination is shown in Maycomb county in many different forms from the trial of Tom Robinson to the actions of the townsfolk. Black people and white people were not allowed to intermingle and they had separate facilities for each race. It was considered wrong for a white person to go to a place meant for black people and vice versa. They said things such as “they got their church, we got our’n” (Lee, 308). When this is said, it shows just how segregated the county is, that even the churches are split into black and white groups. After all, “it’s the same God, ain’t it?” (Lee, 308). The black people aren’t the only people who are discriminated against. People also may separate themselves from individuals who may be a lower social class or have less wealth than themselves. Aunt Alexandra demonstrates this behavior when Scout asks if she can play with Walter, who is very poor. Aunt Alexandra tells her “he-is-trash, that’s why you can’t play with him” (Lee, 587). Aunt Alexandra is a very wealthy person herself, and for her to deny Scout the chance to play with a poor person is very rude and discriminatory of her. Obviously, the money she has does not make her a better person. Harper Lee uses these quotes to explain the segregation between not only races, but social and wealth classes during this time period.
Discrimination also affected Jem and Scout in major ways. They were talked down to by many townsfolk and kids at their school made fun of them. The reasoning for these attacks was that their father, Atticus Finch, was a lawyer defending a black man named Tom Robinson. People didn’t think it was right to defend an African-American, and some people and students took it out on Jem and Scout. Scout even got in fights with classmates trying to defend her father, saying that “he had announced in the schoolyard the day before that Atticus defended n*****s” (Lee, 198). Scout had become an outcast from the students in her school all because her dad wanted to be a good person and help an innocent man. Jem, too, was negatively affected by the racism and prejudice. While Atticus had a very good case and extremely convincing evidence that Tom Robinson was innocent, the verdict was chosen from the very start.