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Word Count: 638
Despite his clear innocence a black man is tried unjustly and decreed guilty because of his different skin color The townspeople blame the causes of bad incidents on a blameless recluse because of his different lifestyle A teacher mistreats her student because she is different from other students All of these problems and conflicts share a common root close-mindedness In To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee condemns this close-mindedness the intolerance of differences within others in a Southern society because it is destructive and debilitating Close-mindedness shows itself in various forms among the members of a Southern society Maycomb First it stems from rejection of people who have different skin colors In Maycomb the white people repress and discriminate against the black people For example despite his eloquent speech and cogent arguments that clearly prove Tom Robinsons innocence Atticus fails to persuade the racist juries to decree Tom Robinson acquittal After his unjust trial Tom Robinson a black man is convicted and thus becomes the scapegoat of the racism in the town Another form of close-mindedness exists in the relationship between Miss Caroline and Scout When Scout goes to the elementary school she already knows read so Miss Caroline her teacher does not need to teach her but her peers Because Scout is edified and is more knowledgeable than others Miss Caroline feels as if her authority is on the brink Frustrated and desperate Miss Caroline becomes close-minded against and begins to mistreat Scout because she views Scout as a threat So when Scout tries to explain to Miss Caroline that Walter cannot pay Miss Caroline back her money she does not try to listen and instead slaps her with a ruler Another example is Boo Radley the recluse in Maycomb Boo Radley lives alone and almost never steps his foot out of his house This is because he is emotionally hurt by his father a foot-washing Baptist in his childhood Due to his seclusion
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