Adaptations and Change: The Moral Growth and Development within Harper Lee’s, “To Kill a Mockingbird” A moral: “To be concerned with the principles of right and wrong behaviour, and the goodness or badness of a character”. Harper Lee’s, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, evidently shows the importance of morals, and how Jem and Scout's development is affected and modified as the plot unfolds. In the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”, there are multiple debatable morals induced by Jem and Scout, and both their ways of being. Scout was able to progress throughout the plot, exceeding herself along the way. Jem as well had an increase of growth as the novel developed.
Lawrence Kohlberg, a developmental psychologist, identified six developmental stages of human moral reasoning. The first stage that he recognized was the Punishment-Obedience Orientation, where the person’s concern is for avoiding punishment through obedience. The second stage was the Instrumental Relativist Orientation, where the person’s concern is to work in their self interest, and better their position. The third stage of moral development was the Good Boy-Nice Girl Orientation, where the person’s concern lies with their reputation. Next was the Law And Order Orientation, where the person was less concerned with their own immediate well being to the maintenance of a larger society. The fifth stage was the Social Contract
In books, many characters go through moral development. The book To Kill A Mockingbird shows many examples of characters that go through this development and characters that help others develop. While there are many different characters in the book, the focus is on the development of Jem and Scout Finch with the help of Atticus and Calpurnia. The kids are introduced when they are young and over the span of the book, the adults teach and help them, making them have a different understanding of the world only two years later. With the guidance of Atticus and Cal, Jem and Scout go through a big moral change.
This theory has a different focus than typical theories; in this theory, conformity is emphasized, specifically, with the focus being on the reasoning behind why people conform and obey society’s rules, instead of why people deviate from norms. This theory operates under the basic assumption that delinquent behavior occurs because of a person’s bond or tie to society being weak or non-existent. There are four elements that make up this bond: attachment to others, commitment, involvement, and belief. Thus, the stronger the bond’s element, the less likely a person is going to engage in crime; likewise, the weaker the element of the bond is, the more likely a person is going to commit crime. Also, all four identified elements are said to be connected and interdependent, so a weakness in one element will more than likely lead to weaknesses in the other elements. In other words, these elements control a person’s level of conformity; crime control stems from one’s ties to conventional society. This theory also assumes that people are born naturally selfish; however, this is not a born tendency or trait. Rather, this means that the motivation for crime in society is evenly spread out since everyone has the same inclination for crime. Similarly, under this theory, the way people are controlled by society through these bonds is
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." A quote by Atticus Finch a loving single father of two children in a novel by Harper Lee. The story takes place during the 1930s and the Great Depression, in a small (made-up) town called Maycomb Alabama. Scout now an adult is narrating what she experienced and felt in ages 6-9. She gives details of her family, school, and just everything she goes through. In the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, she also talks about her brother Jem, who starts as a careless young boy that slowly starts getting more mature. Jem changing throughout the story helps show a little bit more of how the story develops and why character development is important in making a good novel.
Jem’s Analysis Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development reflects on the idea that people’s decisions are based on how they process the importance of a situation. According to his theory, there are three stages of moral development: preconventional, conventional, and postconventional. Each level is based on how a person’s reflects to making a moral decision. In each level there are two stages on how their level of sophistication affected their way of thinking.
“Those who improve with age embrace the power of personal growth and personal achievement and begin to replace youth with wisdom, innocence with understanding, and lack of purpose with self-actualization.” -Bo Bennett
6. In your own words, explain each of the author’s problems (criticisms) with Kohlberg’s theory. a. The author mentions that he doesn’t like how Kohlberg focuses too much on “why”. The author says that Kohlberg is narrow to focus on motivation rather the action itself. Another issue is how flexible or rigid each stage are presented. In the text a question is raised stating that can a person in stage 5 have a stage 1 morning. Basically the criticism here is that Kohlberg does not clarify weather his rules are bendable or not. The Author goes to on another criticism where he asks if justice is the most important ethical principle. He states that the sample size for someone to reach stage 6 is very small so why is justice the most important factor? Finally, his last criticism is how gender plays a different role in moral development. In Kohlberg’s research, most of which were young boys, he found the moral difference in young males. According the author Gilligan thought that Kohlberg’s research
KOHLBERG’S CONVENTIONAL LEVEL 2, STAGES 3 & 4 The second level of Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral development is the Conventional Level. The Conventional level consists of stages 3 and 4. Stage 3 is based on interpersonal expectations. Those who are at this stage try to be a “good” boy or a “good” girl and live up to others’--such as close friends and family’s-- expectations. Stage 4 is based on Law-and-Order. They are not only focused on what their family and friends say; they are now focused on society. These stages are usually reached by early teens. They don’t blindly follow rules;
Moral Stages In the book to To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, a young girl is being put through a variety of challenges that have set her up to learn about aspects of life. Scout, the young girl is being put through situations throughout the book, and is going through different moral developments that have been set up into three levels by Kohlberg, a psychologist. Kohlberg gathered this information by giving people of different ages, different questions that would identify their moral stage (“Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development”). For example, some of the questions would be; if you were trapped in a room full of innocent people and someone dying would be the only way to save everyone else in the room would you risk yourself? On that
In Harper Lees’s masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird, moral education is a theme that only seems to bloom within the Finch household and is severely lacking in all of Maycomb County. The main character, Scout Finch, is growing in an environment where manners and education matter, this is a quality that can be attributed to the teachings of Atticus Finch and Calpurnia. In a world that is corrupted by prejudice, moral education is form of behavior that stands out, Harper Lee provides examples of this in Calpurnia’s discipline at home, Atticus’s ethical guidance and explanations for the reasoning behind his defense of Tom Robinson, and Scout’s bewilderment at Ms. Gate’s hypocrisy. Moral education is a theme that plays a core role in the development of the title characters as well as the deterioration of the town’s moral standards.
Figure I.1. An integrative theoretical framework on antecedents and consequences of norm-violating behavior (van Kleef et al. 2015) The model illustrates that norm violations have two types of antecedents and two types of consequences. Individual-level antecedents of norm-violating behavior, as proposed by the authors, reside in the transgressor and the social
Kohlberg’s assessment can be summarised as; a) Preconventional morality - rules are externalized and conformation is motivated by the desire to avoid punishment or obtain personal reward. Self perspective is dominant: “what I like or what I can get away with is right.”
The theory of moral development, advanced by psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg is one of the most well-known persuasive theories in the field of cognitive science and stems from the work of Jean Piaget, which hypothesizes on the direct correlation that exists between moral and cognitive development. Kohlberg speaks of the appearance and understanding of what is right and wrong from childhood to adulthood and explains by this transition through the identification of various levels of morality known as pre-conventional, conventional and post conventional. People will make decisions based on the understanding of the possible outcome and through reasoning of morals. (Target Concept)
It is also worth noting that demographically, the social environment or experiences of an individual play a succinct role in the psychosocial developmentof the person’s different stages of development. In reference to Erik Erickson’s theory of psychosocial development, it is critical for individuals to develop their ego identity, behavioral competence as they are critical in addressing specific societal virtues and psychosocial crises (Erikson, & Coles, 2000). Additionally, Kohlberg’s moral development theory asserts that an individual’s future is affected by different demographic factors. The theory primarily concerns three stages namely pre- conventional, conventional and post-conventional stagesthat are in turn helpful in the description of new and comprehensive individuals’ personalities (Kohlberg, & Hersh, 1977). The pre-convention stage especially in relation to criminal justice concerns the moral reasoning levels of the judges in relation to the morality of an action and factors influencing it as in the case of a felony trail (Kohlberg, & Hersh, 1977). The convention stage of moral development tackles the jury’sjudgment methods for the morality of actions of the criminals through