Examples Of Lessons To Learn In To Kill A Mockingbird

Decent Essays

Lessons To Learn
While one of the main themes of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is understanding another human’s perspective, it is also important to look at how people treat each other. The story’s protagonist, Scout, is a young girl from Alabama whose father, Atticus Finch, is asked to defend an African-American man who is charged with rape. The southern way of life during The Great Depression will not allow Tom Robinson a fair trial, and Scout and her brother Jem are forced to deal with a county’s ignorance and racist attitudes. Atticus and a compassionate neighbor, Miss Maudie, try to teach the children not to hurt mockingbirds as they do not harm anything and “... don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy”(90). While the comparison of a mockingbird to Tom Robinson illustrates the sin of hurting the innocent, it is also used to show the goodness of an unknown neighbor, Boo Radley.
Tom Robinson, a black man, is on trial for allegedly raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. The evidence of Mayella being raped is that she was severely beaten on the left-side of her face, strangled, and by her own account. However, Tom loses all movement in his left arm when he gets it caught in a cotton gin when he is younger, “He got it caught in a cotton gin, caught it in Mr. Dolphus Raymond’s cotton gin when he was a boy… like bled to death… tore all the muscles loose from his bones” (249). Since Tom only has use of his right arm, he could not rape, beat, or strangle Mayella.

Get Access