In Harper Lee’s novel ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, the main character Scout’s journey of maturation is charted as she progresses in her moral education and gains a broader, more adult perspective of the world around her. Scout learns the vital need for utilising tolerance, compassion and empathy when dealing with others, no matter an individual’s reputation or the circumstance. She is also exposed to the terrible injustice and racial prejudice that overcomes Maycomb’s community, and sees how this outright bigotry has severe consequences. Atticus also teaches Scout the meaning of true courage, in both a physical and a moral sense, and how true bravery is often not appreciated by the majority. Harper
There are countless people who judge others by their image or the words whispered by friends. This has been true since people have begun interacting with one another. Indeed, people feel the need to categorize everything and everyone leading to stereotyping and bias based upon appearances. In today’s society, there are many incidents involving racial and gender inequality demonstrating that little has changed since the 1960s. In this novel, Scout Finch, a young girl, recounts her life as she observes social concerns including racism and prejudice. When her father Atticus, a criminal attorney, agrees to defend an innocent black man, Scout comes to realize that not everything is as perfect as it seems. Appropriately, Scout and her brother Jem learn not to judge others as a result of interactions with three characters that they encounter throughout their childhood. Boo Radley, known as the town’s ‘evil monster’, Mrs. Dubose, an elderly, ill-tempered woman who lives near the Finches and Tom Robinson, an African-American man being accused of raping a white woman that is being defended by their father, all teach the children that character is not a reflection of one’s outwards appearance. As such, through knowing these people and their circumstances, Scout and Jem’s sense of social justice and fairness matures. It is through their eyes that Harper Lee, in To Kill a Mockingbird, demonstrates the immorality of judging others without consideration of who they are and what
Since Jem enjoys doing "manly" things, Scout does them as well for she does not know any better and she wants to gain Jem's respect for her. As time goes by, Jem starts to mature himself, from an irresponsible boy to a sensitive, gentlemen, Mister Jem; he is always Scout's adored older brother. As Scout gets older, her Aunt Alexandra decides to try and get Scout to act more like the Jean Louise that she wants her be. The only time that Aunt Alexandra was around for a long period of time was during the trial when she came to live with the Finches when Atticus was the lawyer for Tom. Even though she disagrees with her brother, Atticus, with his way of raising his children, especially Scout, who should be taught to be a lady believes that in time, she will "come around"
The whole of the part one of this novel is a series of life lessons preparing Scout for the hardships she is going to face in the second part of the novel. Due to the influence of the likes of Atticus, Miss Maudie and Mrs Dubose, Scout goes from a naïve young girl who thought with her fists rather than her head, into a more mature, empathetic girl. This essay is going to discuss some of the lessons Scout learns and how they impacted the way she became at the end of part one.
As a result of Atticus's decision, Jem and Scout get into a number of fights with classmates and their cousin when they taunt them and call Atticus a "nigger lover." Life seems to be full of lesson for Scout and Jem. For example, when a rabid dog chases Scout, she discovers that her father, whom she previously thought too old to do anything, does possess some talents. Atticus turns out be a crack shot, killing the dog in one shot at a great distance. Another time the children learn to be tolerant of people who have problems even though they say mean things. A neighbor, Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose, derides Atticus and spreads lies about him, and screams insults at the children when they pass by. Jem gets very angry at her and cuts off her flowers from her bushes. Instead of siding with Jem, Atticus feels that what he did is wrong and as punishment, Jem has to read out loud to her every day to take her mind off her predicament. Atticus holds this old woman up as an example of true courage as she
Scout tries to resist her community’s attempts to shape her into a ‘proper’ young lady in several different ways.
Miss Maudie is another woman who Scout is around a lot, especially when Jem starts ignoring Scout and ditching her for football. Miss Maudie changes Scout's perception of womanhood because in the morning, Miss Maudie is dressed in overalls and "men's clothing," but at night, she changes into a dress and looks gorgeous showing Scout that being a woman does not mean that every hour one has to be in a dress looking beautiful. Miss Maudie is a role model for Scout. They sit on her porch and talk just like a mother and daughter, "In summertime, twilights are long and peaceful. Often as not, Miss Maudie and I would sit silently on her porch watching the sky go form yellow to pink as the sun went down" (43). Miss Maudie is there for Scout to lean on and supports her during tough times like at Aunt Alexandra's tea party. Miss Maudie comforts her when everyone was laughing: "Miss Maudie looked gravely at me. She never laughed unless I meant to be funny" (229). Miss Maudie is there for Scout to hold her hand while the other ladies are subtly making fun of Atticus and saying that he is a disgrace for defending a Negro. Miss Maudie changes helps Scout change her views on becoming a woman.
From the start of the novel, Miss Maudie's character was portrayed as a woman that was full of integrity and confidence. Even when facing unfortunate events such as a fire burning her house down, Miss Maudie is able to react to the crisis in a calm manner. Confused about Miss Maudie’s response to the emergency, Scout had expected Miss Maudie to be in the process of grieving the loss of her property,
This conversation is deeply important for Scouts progression as a character and the knowledge that she carries with herself after this conversation. After she absorbs this wisdom from Miss Maudie we witness her more active and daring later in the novel which is a result of Miss Maudie's motivating
The famous quote from Anne Frank, “parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands,” couldn’t be truer to Harper Lee’s character, Scout Finch. Throughout the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Scout Finch changes and grows both emotionally and socially with the help of her friends and family.
In Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, the most dominant character trait displayed by Miss Maudie is wisdom. Miss Maudie reveals her wisdom regularly throughout the book. Miss Maudie is a very wise lady and uses her wisdom to teach others. Miss Maudie sees the good in the situation when she says, “Why, I hated that old cow barn. Thought of settin’ fire to it a hundred times myself. … Always wanted a smaller house, Jem Finch. Gives me more yard” (97). Miss Maudie shows her wisdom by not becoming upset about her house burning down. She sees the good in situations and realizes that everything happens for a reason. She has always wanted a smaller house so she could have a bigger yard and a bigger garden. Miss Maudie also reveals her wisdom
One’s childhood innocence is never lost, it simply plants the seed for the flower of maturity to bloom. It seems that almost every adult chooses to either forget or ignore this childhood vulnerability. But ironically, it was this quality that pushed them into adulthood in the first place. At the peak of their childhood, their post climactic innocence allows room for the foundation of maturity to begin to grow. In the sleepy southern town of Maycomb this is exactly what happens to eight years old Jean Louise “Scout” Finch. In To Kill a Mockingbird the character Scout is forced to surround herself with a very adult situation, when a trial comes to the small town of Maycomb. The trial raises the question that shakes the entire town up, what
While Scout does not really know Boo on a personal level, she knows Miss Maudie a little better. This is because for a tiny bit of time, the two of them sit and talk everyday. Therefore, Scout knows Miss Maudie well and she helps change Scout into the matured girl she is at the end of the book. While at a tea party, Miss Maudie is sitting net to Scout while all the other ladies ask her questions about her future and what she wants to do with her life-- “Miss Maudie’s
Harper Lee uses her novel to teach us important lessons from the characters presented in To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus, a fair and moral character, whose parenting style is unique, lined with honest and example, teaches us to follow his ways. Scout, an innocent girl who teaches us what’s important in life. Tom Robinson, someone who is ostracized for being African American, can teach us the importance of equal treatment and awakens us to our surrounding society. Lee’s construction of characters gives us perspective to issues in our society today, how they still matter and what we can learn from the novel such as compassion, justice and understanding.