Not Yet Essay

752 words - 4 pages

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is a harsh criticism of Southern prejudice. However, Mockingbird focuses not on this prejudice, but on how to fight it. Throughout the novel, Atticus Finch tries to prevent his children from succumbing to the bigotry that plagues Maycomb County. Atticus's lessons teach us that by standing in other people's shoes and exposing ourselves to other people's views we can fight our own prejudice.
One of the first lessons taught in Mockingbird is the power of understanding other people’s perspectives. For much of the novel, Scout has trouble showing empathy towards others. Atticus tells Scout that she'll “get along a lot better with all kinds of folks [if she] considers things from [their] point of view” (39). Atticus is teaching us a valuable lesson-in order to have an open mind; you need to keep an open mind. Atticus wants to see his children to learn how to consider multiple viewpoints before forming opinions and knows that if he fails in teaching them, they will succumb to the prejudice that plagues Maycomb. It proves difficult for Scott to grasp the concept, however. Scout and her friends spend much of the novel tormenting Boo Radley, the town enigma. They try to make Boo come outside-something he hasn't done in decades. When Scout finally meets Boo, she realizes that he is just a normal man, who chooses to stay inside. Standing on Boo's porch, Scout finally learns her lesson. “Atticus was right” (374). For most of the novel, scout learns about Boo through rumors spread by the other children. Most of those rumors told only one side of the story. The rest had no basis in reality at all.
Not major idea presented is the importance of exposing yourself to different people. With scout meets Dolphus Raymond, who has a reputation of being married to a black woman and drinking in public, she is nervous “[to listen] to this sinful man... [but at the same time, she is fascinated]” (268). By talking to Dolphus Raymond, Scout is learning about a new way of life. She finds out that he is really a nice man who means no harm. And the drink he...

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