Changing Society…One Person at a Time

To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee, is a novel set in the time period of the early 1930’s. The characters were immersed in the Great Depression and entrenched in racial segregation at its height. Matched, written by Ally Condie, is a novel set in a dystopian society with no definitive time period. One wonders how two novels, set in very different times and circumstances can have such a statement about how segregation effects an entire community and sets change into motion. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, segregation is by color: white jurors at the trial of Tom Robinson, the mixed race children of Dolphus Raymond, and the public outrage of a white Atticus defending a black Tom Robinson.In the novel Matched, segregation is by social status: the individual social rank of the community members, status determined by family history, and separation based on the determination of relationship eligibility. Each of these examples will be explored to support the theme of segregation and how it affects the community and its function.

Segregation (noun): the policy or practice of separating people of different races, classes, or ethnic groups, as in schools, housing, and public or commercial facilities, especially as a form of discrimination (Merriam-Webster).The word segregation is often used interchangeably with discrimination (n): the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people (Merriam-Webster). Harper Lee in To Kill a Mockingbird gives examples of segregation in several scenes. At Tom Robinson’s trial, the jury is comprised of 12 white men who will be charged with determining the guilt or innocence of a single black man. The jury members were “sun-burned, lanky, they all seemed to be farmers, but this was natural” (Lee 219). This segregation of the colors of the participants allows for Tom to be discriminated against. The jury is not a panel of his peers …