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Life Lessons In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

829 words - 3 pages

No matter where or who a person is, they are always learning something, either about themselves or about the environment around them. In Harper Lee's heartwarming novel titled To Kill A Mockingbird, the main characters Jem and Scout grow and mature throughout the story as they learn both more about themselves and the world around them. As the story progresses, they learn many life lessons including those about prejudice, people and how they have been categorized and judged, and, last but not least, gender issues.
A small city nestled in the state of Alabama, Maycomb has got its faults, just like any other place in the world, but one of its main faults or (pg.88) “Maycomb's usual disease,” as Atticus calls it in the book is prejudice. Jem and Scout learn a lot about prejudice when a black man named Tom Robinson is accused of raping a white woman named Mayella Ewell and their father, Atticus, is called on to be his lawyer. They realize the hate that people have buried deep within their heart when they see a black man accused of doing something only because of his color. On pg.241, Scout starts understanding this and thinks, “Atticus had used every tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men's hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed.” As the case continues, up until the death of Tom Robinson, Jem and Scout learn more and more about prejudice and how the hate that people have towards others causes them to take wrong actions. They also see how unfair it is that a white man can get treated better and think of himself better than a black man only because he was born white. This prejudice and the trial cause Jem and Scout to get in arguments, but all in all, it improves their understanding of the world around them and why things are just the way they are.
Another life lesson that Jem and Scout learn about throughout the story is of the categorization of people in Maycomb, which ties in with the prejudice. They notice that most of the people in Maycomb value their ancestry and background very much, especially to see who settled down in the area first and had more distinguished and important ancestors. They also notice how the people of Maycomb are always judging one another and saying...

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