Can you imagine an innocent man found guilty and shot seventeen times? This would be an outrageous. Harper Lee's book 'To Kill a Mocking Bird' explores just that. The book is set in the 1930s in Southern America just after the civil war when blacks were seen as an inferior race and whites are superior. "Negros" are looked down on and a lot of prejudice is shown towards them through out the text. There are many themes shown in the book that is still relevant to today.
Conformity in this text enables prejudice. This is shown when Atticus is stationed outside Toms cell. A mob of white men come in and because there is a general consensus in the town that Tom is guilty and its Atticus's trying to make sure Tom is found guilty but Atticus knows he is innocent. The mob goes in and threatens Atticus. The author shows prejudice through three main characters, Author Radley, Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson. The most obvious prejudice is racial prejudice. An example of this is when Mr Gilmer, the prosecutor on Tom's trial, calls Tom 'boy!' lowering Tom's status and indicating that black people are inferior. Another example is when the white people of Maycomb believe the evidence given by a corrupt white man Bob Ewell, over the evidence from a black man. Throughout the book the people of Maycomb are set on the idea that "Negros" are bad people therefore Tom, never gets to create his own identity. He is not given a chance to be seen as a good honest person.
Fear in 'To kill a Mockingbird' leads to narrow-mindedness and ignorance. Fear is the cause of most people's actions but also the effect of things. Fear is one of the most powerful emotions and is used to control the people of Maycomb. Each character in the book is 'infected' by other people's fear, which creates a society of people who conform. An example is seen when the evidence Atticus builds up proves that Tom in innocent, but to conform to society's view that back people are bad and must be guilty, the jury still finds Tom guilty.