Intolerance in the 1930's

By: Jordan Perry

Why would they exclude anyone?

Society excludes people is because of race, religion, cultural differences or different economic level. In the book To Kill a Mockingbird when Tom Robinson is accused of a crime and the community automatically believes that he is guilty. The community excludes Tom Robinson because he is a different race than the majority of the community that he lives in. The white people feel that Tom Robinson is a lower class of people than them because he is black. Atticus Finch, a well-liked white lawyer and a respected member of the community is excluded because he became Tom’s lawyer. Atticus is treated with disrespect and is excluded just for helping Tom. Back when the book was written the white community tended to exclude the black community because the whites felt that they had more power and are at a higher class than them. In contemporary society exclusion is not always as obvious as in previous times but we do still exclude people for different reasons. One of the reasons that society has always excluded people that they feel are different are lack of knowledge of other cultures or fear of change to one’s community. Sometimes we even exclude other people to make ourselves and others feel better about ourselves.

What do they do to exclude someone?


In the past and even today, groups are excluded in many different ways. Some people do not like changes and cannot accept new or different people in their group especially if they feel that group is different than themselves. In the book, Atticus was excluded by being called bad names by other members of the community. Also, the community treated his children badly by saying that their father could only defend black people. Tom Robinson was excluded by also being called bad names and people from other towns trying to kill him before the trial. In contemporary society, communities still exclude others for many reasons such as race, culture and traditions. Some women have to fight today not to be excluded in the workplace. They have to fight harder and prove themselves more to obtain the same jobs as men.


Do people exclude themselves?

Some people decide to exclude themselves from their society. For example, Boo Radley in the book was excluded from his community. When he was younger he got in trouble with the law and his father kept him inside making sure he wouldn’t leave and would not cause any more trouble. When his father died his brother made sure he would not leave. At the end of the book Jem Finch realizes that Boo wants to stay inside and that he does not want the community to judge and talk cruelly about him. Today some people exclude themselves by moving into a certain section of a city where they share the same race, ethnicity and culture as others in the area. People of different cultures do not tend to move to these areas because they do not feel welcome or because they do not feel comfortable in an area that they do not understand the culture. Groups tend to feel comfortable in a community they share the same religion, cultural values, traditions, and even food as others.

Strong communties define themselves by whom they exclude

In the town of Maycomb, the community thought they were a strong community by excluding anyone different than themselves such as blacks, Atticus, Atticus’s family, and Boo. In contemporary society a true community opens up to different people, culture, and religion. Having a diverse variety with less of the same and more of the different is what makes a community strong today. What the community should be excluding is hatred and the fear of change.

Work Cited

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Warner, 1960. Print


"Southern Poverty Law Center." Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2014.