Perception Vs. Reality Essay

960 words - 4 pages

In Harper Lee’s phenomenal novel To Kill a Mockingbird and Olive Anne Burn’s Cold Sassy Tree, a character’s perception must change to better suit the reality in which they live. In each novel, the character begins the book by accepting society’s biased views of life and how it should be lived. As the works progress, the characters experience something that requires a change in view point and this experience often comes at the novel’s climatic moment. As the reader continues to digest the literature, they find that towards the end, the characters have developed a less prejudiced view of life. Their perception has changed to match their reality. We see this in Scout Finch from To Kill a ...view middle of the document...

As Atticus states, “you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it,” (Sparknotes Editors; To Kill a Mockingbird; Important Quotations Explained). Realization of these facts seems to come on gradually, and then apex when Boo Radley, the aforementioned town recluse, comes to Scout and Jem’s rescue.
Contrastingly, Will Tweedy’s epiphany arrives at a slower, more deliberate pace. As a supporter of Rucker and Miss Love’s marriage, Will has already taken a step out of the box. The longer he knows Miss Love and spends time with Rucker, the more he understands that what the two have is something special. Rucker’s love for Miss Love grows until it reaches a peak moment in which he exclaims; “I love you, dang it! I’m sayin’ I want you to be my wife! I’m saying I been a-waitin’ to hold you in my arms ever since the day we got married,” (Sparknotes Editors; Cold Sassy Tree; Important Quotations Explained). Will also observes the town’s negative reactions to the shot-gun marriage and notices that people become lodged in the past. Throughout the novel, he develops a stronger faith in God as Rucker mentors him by sharing pieces of his own experiences. Rucker explains to Will that, “We can ast for comfort and hope and patience and courage…and we’ll git what we ast for. They ain’t no gar’ntee thet we ain’t go’n have no troubles and ain’t go’n die. But shore as frogs croak and cows bellow, God’ll forgive us if’n we ast Him to,” (Sparknotes Editors; Cold Sassy Tree; Important Quotations Explained). Will forms his own convictions and opinions, just as Scout did, and moves on in a new light of understanding.
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