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To Kill A Mockingbird Education Analysis

Decent Essays
Education, in general terms, is the process in which an individual acquires knowledge to expand their mental capabilities, in order to have a better understanding of situations in their life. John Dewey described this as a “process of living, and not preparation for future living.” This is where the difference between true education, and institutionalized education presents itself. As seen in Harper Lee’s, To Kill a Mockingbird, the role of education is always there throughout the novel, however it doesn’t always take place in school. When we pay close attention to some of the situations the characters are presented with, we see that Harper Lee argues for a dominance of education in the home, given the impact that home lessons have on the moral development of the characters. On Scout Finch’s first day in school, given the unpleasant circumstances, we see that school (in the novel) was never meant to be a safe haven for Scout, or anyone else for that matter. Scout was taught to read and write cursive at a very young age. Despite being praised and acknowledged outside of school for possessing this trait, Miss Caroline reprimanded Scout for this reason. She even insulted Atticus’ ways of teaching. “Your father does not know how to teach.”(2) Scout immediately felt guilty and began associating reading and writing with a negative connotation. This, in…show more content…
There are many more instances where we can see that education in the home is more valuable to the author (e.g. when Calpurnia took the children to a black church, when Jem got his gun, the first time Scout saw Boo Radley in person etc.) however the two aforementioned are the most prominent. The impact that these home lessons have on the characters provide evidence of Lee’s argument that domestic education is worth more than than institutionalized
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