Learning And Developing In 'to Kill A Mockingbird'

1367 words - 5 pages

Jem, Scout and Dill, who are young, develop as the novel progresses. Harper Lee shows these changes in different extremities during the course of the story. The events that occur change and help the children to develop.The word change means many things. Change can be for the better or for the worse, and change can come in many forms. Jem, Scout and Dill change in 3 main ways: Their understanding of the society, physically and their attitudes and values. Jem, Scout and Dill change in these 3 ways, through learning and developing and when events around them help them to learn about the events and the moral connotations of these events. They learn by being taught by other people, making their mistakes and through other people’s experiences. Learning about these things, help them to mature intellectually and socially. The events that occur to show us how the 3 youngsters are learning and developing are conveyed by Harper Lee in multiple ways.The story is told by Jean-Louise Finch, a mature narrator compared to the young Scout portrayed in the novel. Scout’s childish view to the world around her in Maycomb is highlighted by the reader understanding events better than Scout herself. Scout is taught many things through the novel, by various people. However, most of these educational experiences seem to occur outside of school. Scout learns from Calpurnia, the black cook. One of the events mentioned above includes the dinner where Waltor Cunningham is invited to the Finch household. Waltor, a boy stuck in poverty, who doesn’t get every single meal like Scout, complies hurriedly to Jem’s offer for dinner. Unsure of dinner manners, he pours molasses all over his food. Scout, disgusted, quickly exclaims that he’s poured it all over his food. Calpurnia angrily takes her into the kitchen where she scolds Scout. Scout learns that not everybody is as privileged as her. Scout retaliates to Calpurnia’s scolding, telling her that Waltor is not company, he’s just a Cunningham. Calpurnia then tells her that it doesn’t matter whether he was lower in the social ladder than her, because it didn’t count for anything if she didn’t act like a proper person. Scout learns that just because Waltor is a Cunningham, he isn’t any less of a person. This is the starting point for Scout’s maturing in her attitudes. Scout also learns from Atticus. Atticus, her father, is a moral paragon. He teaches her when Scout is feeling bad about school, and he teaches her how to get along with people, ‘You never really understand a person until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.’ (Page 35). Scout learns from this and tries not to judge people before thinking about how they are feeling at the moment. Atticus also teaches Scout during the rabid dog incident. Scout however, does not understand the teaching. Scout feels that true courage is masculinity and being able to take physical pain, whereas Atticus teaches...

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