Analyzing Abstract Concepts

What do these words mean to us now and in the past?

Prejudice

Denotation

A preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.

Connotation

The connotation is hateful and dismissive.

Association

We associate mainly think of racial prejudice when we hear this word, and so segregation comes to mind.

What does this concept mean to you?

For our group prejudice means when someone holds something against you even though you have done nothing to deserve it. When we think of prejudice we think of someone’s opportunities being more limited because they belong to a certain group. Another way to think of prejudice is when you are limited based on other people’s assumptions even though they haven’t met you or taken the time to get to know you.

What does this concept look like in To Kill A Mockingbird

In To Kill a Mockingbird prejudice is built into daily life. There are many examples throughout the book, like Scout being made fun of by her school mates, because her dad is defending a black man. Another example is when the children assume that Ms. Caroline assumes that her teaching techniques will help the class even though she does not understand that many of the children in Maycomb will not pass the first grade. She assumes without even learning about the culture which is prejudice.

What does this concept look like in our society?

There are many examples of prejudice in society especially now with the growing fear of terrorism and our economic demise. One relevant example is Islamophobia where our society fears Muslims just because of extremists who have committed horrible attacks. So because of these extremists many Americans and Europeans have this very negative view of Islam and lash out at those who live peacefully and contribute positively to our society. Another group that faces a lot of prejudice is the African American community. Many white Americans and other non-black groups have this preconceived notion that especially lower socioeconomic Blacks are all gangsters and welfare queens who don’t contribute to society. This however is not true because many African Americans are very hardworking and are educated professionals. The last form of prejudice in our society is xenophobia because right now economy is not doing well so we are blaming immigrants for taking our jobs and rejecting refugees from coming in.
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In this picture , the kids are making fun and excluding one of their peers without a reason to. For children it is easy to make others feel left out because we are not as excepting as we should. They could be making fun of the kid for having bad grades ,or even his home status, but no one should be bullied for any of these reasons. Bullying is a type of prejudice because it works on assumptions and not on a person's whole story.

Courage

Denotation

The ability to do something that frightens someone and strength in the face of pain or grief.

Connotation

We picture a brave and daring knight or someone overcoming an obstacle.


Association

This word is often felt as big and one we associate with standing in the face of adversity.


What does this concept mean to you?

To be able to do something even when you are scared. This means for us being able to stand up for yourself or someone else even when it is against popular opinion. Courageous people will persevere even when the odds are against them.


What does this concept look like in To Kill A Mockingbird?

As Jem grows up he is taught the meaning of courage after Mrs. Dubose’s death. “I wanted you to see something about her - I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’ve been licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” Not only is Atticus talking about Mrs. Dubose overcoming her addiction, but he is also teaching Jem lessons that could be applied to the trial as well. As Atticus says earlier in the book, he sees no outcome where he wins the trial, but feels it’s important to give the trial his complete attention and remains respectful to everyone, even though they have dramatically different (and wrong) views.

What does it look like in society?

In our society people who put others before themselves are courageous because they put someone else’s needs before their own. For example people that are first responders are very courageous because even when they are afraid they are afraid they are there to be at our aide. Courage is also seen in children when they tell a bully to stop teasing or stand up for a kid who is different. Courage today also means being able to be authentic and willing to be yourself no matter how difficult it may be.
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This picture exudes courage because the little dog is standing up to the big dog even though the odds are stacked against him. Most people would back away from a fight against from an opponent that’s so much larger than themselves , but this dog clearly is not going to back down.

Obligation

Denotation

An act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound.

Connotation

This word sounds responsible and adult-y. The word seems more serious then a simple promise.

Association

We associate this word with family and friend relationships. It means that you will uphold something no matter what.

What does this concept mean to you?

For me this means when you have to do something because of another force that means a lot to you. For example when a family member asks you to do something you really have no choice in the matter. Another situation is when you commit to something and then a better offer comes along. You stick with your previous commitment because you have to stick with something you've already agreed upon.

What does this concept look like in "To Kill A Mockingbird"?

We see throughout To Kill a Mockingbird that Jem feels an obligation to tell the truth to his father. We see this especially when they discover Dill under Scout's bed. "Dill's eyes flickered at Jem, and Jem looked at the floor. Then he rose and broke the remaining code of our childhood... "Atticus," his voice distant, "can you come here a minute, sir?" In this passage, Jem tells the truth even though it means that he may be betraying the unwritten rules between the children.

What does this concept look like in our society?

In our society we often feel obligated whether it be with our families or other responsibilities. Usually we don't want to do things we feel that we are obligated to for example picking after your when you take it for a walk or attending jury duty. We do these tasks because we have to not because we want to.
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Often times we are put in situations where we feel obligated to a certain group or belief system. In many situations it is our family and we feel that we need to do what is best for our family. For example during the holidays we center our plans around our families and do whatever is most convenient for them.

Injustice

Denotation

Lack of fairness or justness

Connotation

Negative and is usually used instances

Association

We typically associate this term with situations where one group is treating another group poorly because of different back rounds or beliefs.

What does the concept mean to you?

Injustice is when someone is denied fair treatment because of prejudice. To us this means, when bias interferes with equitable treatment and it normally causes those treated unjustly to be abused. When they refuse to be mistreated it causes a great strife.

What does this concept mean in To Kill A Mockingbird?

In To Kill A Mockingbird you see how Atticus feels he must give Tom Robinson a fair court trial. Instead of going with the town’s prejudice, feels a duty to treat Tom fairley. Although Tom has faced many injustices by living in a town with lots of racial bias, Atticus makes sure he is treated equally. He says, “Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.” When he says this he means that no matter that the whole town is against him, he will treat Tom as he deserves to be treated.

What does this concept look like in our society?

Injustice is seen in many different forms in our society from violence to racial slurs or lack of opportunities. Many people can experience injustice in our society whether it be their economic background or their race. We also experience gender inequality whether you’re a male or female and whether you’re a minority or not. Injustice is usually expressed by a group of people who feel that their position in society is at risk because another group is gaining opportunities and they feel that they need to suppress that by making these advances more difficult.
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This is a comic that is shedding light on South Africa's xenophobia and how South Africa is not allowing refugees from other African Countries to immigrate. This goes back to how the South African president does not want to allow people want people from other countries because he does not want foreigners. There is an epidemic in South Africa of violence towards foreigners especially performed by police. The majority of the victims are lower income immigrants escaping violence in their own countries that are searching for safety.