What is prejudice? The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.” You can also look at prejudice as racism, gender stereotypes, or social class stereotypes. A quote that deals with prejudice comes from Atticus Finch, “There’s 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 facts of life.” (295, Lee) Atticus explains to Scout that even if there were equal rights for everyone, people would always hold one man’s word over another man’s word. Even if we still have this divide it is always going to be unfair and ugly. Harper Lee uses the different types of prejudice including; racism, gender stereotypes, and social class stereotypes in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird.One point discusses racism in the novel. Atticus states, “She was white, and she tempted a N—-. She did something that in our society is unspeakable: she kissed a black man. Not an old Uncle, but a strong young N—- man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards.” (272, Lee) This quote talks about how Tom Robinson felt sorry for a white woman, which in this time period was not accepted. Tom also tells a alternate version of Mayella’s story, a story where she wanted him and not the other way around. Another example is how we learn that Mr. Dolphus Raymond just pretends to drink all the time because it gives other people an excuse for his “bad behavior.” While this bad behavior relates to him actually accepting african americans into his life. A final example would be whenever Calpurnia took Scout and Jem to her church. The children experience a whole new lifestyle, with the help of Lula. Lula tells Calpurnia that white children should not be at a black church. Here you can very well see the racial divide at the church, a place where everyone should be welcomed with open arms. Another point discusses gender stereotypes in the novel. An example would be how Scout will do anything not to be called a girl by Jem. “Scout, I’m tellin’ you for the last time, shut your trap or go home—I declare to the Lord you’re gettin’ more like a girl every day!” (69, Lee) states Jem. Aunt Alexandra always scolded Scout about how she needed to be a lady. Behind closed doors Alexandra would tell Atticus why Scout needs to act more like a lady instead of wearing boy’s overalls. Finally Miss Maudie is introduced and she does not wear dresses, like women of this time usually would, she wore coveralls and is completely ok with being herself. Also near the end of the novel Atticus tells Scout why women cannot be on a jury, they are too delicate and they need to be protected from all the cruel things that go on in a courtroom. In the 1930’s women were not seen as independent, but were known as dolls, too delicate to break and they were supposed to look beautiful everyday. Scout does not understand why she has to dress up in frilly dresses even if she feels most comfortable in her coveralls. Lastly, this point discusses the social class stereotype in the novel. An example would be when Jem states, “There’s four kinds of folks in the world. The ordinary kind like us and the neighbors, there’s the kind like the Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells down at the dump, and the N—–s.” (302, Lee) Jem gives Scout a clear view of what people thought about each other in the 1930’s. The Ewell’s live near a dump which interprets how many people think of the family as trash. In the minds of everyone else, the Ewells are one step up from the black community in the town. A second example is how Alexandra sees the Finch name as if they were the most perfect family in Maycomb, even if the Finch’s actually were not the best family. Alexandra mentions that every family has some sort of a streak including; a drinking streak, a gambling streak, a funny or a mean streak, but she she claims the Finch family is as clean as a whistle. A last example is how the Cunninghams are one of the poorest families in Maycomb, at school Scout tells the new teacher how the Cunninghams do not take anything from anyone since they cannot pay repay the debt, so instead the family pays back with items instead of money. This shows how the Great Depression took over many families and left them with nothing. In conclusion, there are many different types of prejudice in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The novel teaches anyone who reads it what the world was and what it may still be. “There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire.” (273, Lee) states Atticus. This quote shows his wisdom by saying that there is a flaw in the world, a person can have immoral sin and make terrible decisions throughout their life. To Kill a Mockingbird contains many types of prejudice including; racism, gender stereotypes, and social status stereotypes. Why is this book so important? It is important because it shows what evil the world contained and what evil the world still contained? So, what can someone do to stop a world full of prejudice? Bibliography Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006. Print.”Prejudice, n.1.” Oxford Dictionary Online. Oxford University Press. January 2018. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/prejudice. Accessed January 18, 2018. Shmoop Editorial Team. “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 23 Jan. 2018.