Killing a Tradition in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Decent Essays

Tradition has shaped the world to what it is today, dating all the way back to when the pioneers first escaped England to come to America. Then tradition continued into the Civil War, and is still shaping the world today with things people may not even realize. Well Harper Lee expresses this same kind of tradition in her very well-known fiction novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Through the words she wrote she shows tradition in a whole new light. The two main characters, Jem and Scout, go through the traumatic experience of growing up in a very non-traditional way, from watching Tom Robinson be treated wrong because of the color of skin he has; to having their Aunt Alexandra move in; and then to almost being almost being attacked by their dear friend Mr. Cunningham. Jem and Scout are very affected by tradition, however alone their journey into adulthood they begin to realize that so is everyone else. Through Aunt Alexandra’s effects on others, Tom Robinson’s looks, and Mr. Cunningham’s actions the reader learns that tradition can affect what people say, think, or do. First Aunt Alexandra's effects on others helps establish the effect tradition has on some people. Aunt Alexandra is a very traditional southern woman. She is polite, strict, and when something is wrong she would pounce to try to fix it. The reader first sees her good nature when she says, "We decided it would be best for you to have a feminine influence," ( Lee 127). Normally Aunt Alexandra tries to be a positive

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