Ethical Dilemmas in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

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Ethical Dilemmas in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

Black and white, right and wrong; do decisions that simple and clear even exist? Does a decision ever mean gaining everything without giving anything up? Many characters in To Kill A Mockingbird are forced to make difficult, heart wrenching decisions that have no clear right answer. Harper Lee presents many of these important decisions in To Kill A Mockingbird as ethical dilemmas, or situations that require a choice between two difficult alternatives. Both of these alternatives have unpleasant aspects and question morals and ethics. A person is put in an awkward position, with their mind saying contradicting things. These dilemmas are presented in many different ways. The
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He shows the reader that there are two sides and a decision is not always an easy thing when neither side is clearly wrong or right. Though this particular decision was easily settled by a simple compromise, the text surrounding it prepares us for future events. Atticus asks if Scout knows what "a compromise is" and then goes onto describe it as an "agreement reached by mutual consent." We can tell that Lee is trying to explain that in a dilemma something to give up something. A dilemma does not ever favor one side completely, but rather requires a balance of give and take. Furthermore, another small dilemma occurs when Scout fights with her cousin Francis who is making fun of her father; she decides to get into a fight with him. Though Atticus specifically asked her "not to let anything (she) heard about him make (her) mad," she was so close to her father she could not possibly let someone get away with such deliberate prosecution of her role model. In this dilemma Lee touches on acting upon instinct, no matter what the standard protocol. He makes it clear that sometimes nothing anyone can say to you can stop you from doing what you feel in your heart. Scout's expression of anger through physical battle might not have been the correct approach. However, the reason for which she fought was valiant and courageous. Uncle Jack regretted his punishment when he realized her reasons and her

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