To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Walk a Mile in Their Shoes to Understand

Decent Essays

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a coming of age story of two young children, Scout and Jem Finch, who learn how to live in the prejudiced society of the fictional town, Maycomb, Alabama. Many characters are involved in helping Scout and Jem learn important lessons and mature, whether it is by mouth or through actions. They learn how to be more gentleman and ladylike, they learn that people are sometimes cruel and ignorant, but most importantly, they learn to look at people with more than one perspective. Harper Lee uses the characters Atticus, Dolphus Raymond, and Boo Radley, to show the idea that one cannot fully understand another person until he or she walks in that person's shoes. Atticus, the father of Scout and Jem, plays an immensely important role in the children’s maturing by teaching them valuable life lessons that benefit their character and knowledge of how to live in the world. When telling Jem and Scout why Mrs. Dubose acts the way she does, and how he thinks she is one of the most courageous women he knows, he says, “Courage is when you know your licked before you begin but you begin anyway”(128). The children learn that Mrs. Dubose was not a mean, old, wicked lady; she was a person trying to get rid of an addiction, even though it would cause her pain to do so. This entire conversation shows Scout and Jem that people are not always what one perceives them to be, and that one needs to understand why someone does the things they do before they judge

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