To Kill A Mockingbird Character Analysis

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“Atticus when they finally saw him…He was real nice”
“Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.” (a life in Maycomb) To Kill a Mockingbird is a story about shells — distinctions of a person based on character, actions, circumstances, or race that society uses to define him. A few characters in this novel, though, can see through these shells, into the person beneath. Unfortunately, the rest of the world is quite different… Harper Lee wrote To Kill a Mockingbird in the 1950s, a time of excessive prejudice and contempt in her home state of Alabama. Through carving out her own childhood and the world around her, Lee wrote a novel widely known as the 20th century’s greatest work of literature.
To Kill a Mockingbird focuses in the
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Scout, and Jem, her brother, see through shells of many people. After a trial, Atticus tells Jem, “If you had been on that jury, son, and eleven other boys like you, Tom would be a free man. We do see the outcome that happens when shells are ignored. At night, a group of rough woodmen approach Atticus, ready to exert force on his defendant. Scout suddenly interjects the group, and begins talking with a big gruff man, Mr. Cunningham of his work, and his son, Walter. The gruffness of the group is immediately broken; all the men are shocked. Scout recalls, “The men were all looking at me, some had their mouths half open…Their attention amounted to fascination.” A few moments later, Mr. Cunningham bends down and says to Scout, “I’ll tell [Walter] you said hey, little lady.” The group is then dispersed, a brute, cold natured bunch shown to be calm, rational men. Later on, we learn that this incident positively effects Tom Robinson’s case. But this natural perspective evident in children doesn’t last. [JEM SHELL] Directly after praising Jem, Atticus tells him, “So far, nothing in life has interfered with your reasoning process…There’s something in our world that makes men lose their heads.” So, what is this thing that pushes men to turn into judgmental beings? We learn that it is a conflict between our natural idea of what men should do and their actual actions. Jem asks Scout “If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they
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