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The Creation Of Identity In To Kill A Mockingbird

689 words - 3 pages

A person’s identity is created by his family, friends, and neighbors. These influences can be people that choose to interact or have to interact with each other. The decisions made based on these interactions define a person. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout, the narrator, is affected by numerous sources. Scout’s identity is shaped in part by Atticus, Miss Maudie, and her experience with the court case.

Atticus is a major influence on Scout’s identity. He tells Scout, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view” (33). Atticus’s counsel teaches Scout to never judge someone until she is aware of their reasoning. This guidance helps Scout to interact with the people around her. One example of when she used Atticus’s advice is against the lynch mob. She convinces Mr. Cunningham to leave by talking to him about what he cared about. This interaction shows how an individual’s connection to family members affects his judgement and, therefore, his character. In addition, Atticus expands on this advice later in the novel, stating, “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience” (120). Through this advice, Atticus teaches Scout the value of independence. Scout start to think for herself, without the dependency on others for answers. For instance, she determines that Boo Radley stays in his house because he wants to, not because he is a monster. Thus, an individual’s personal views is affected his family. Atticus bolsters Scout’s individual identity through his actions and suggestions.

Another person that aids in forming Scout’s identity is Miss Maudie. Early in the novel, Miss Maudie tells Scout, “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”(103). Miss Maudie is one of the few people in Maycomb who believe in equality. Here, she is attempting to pass on her beliefs to Scout. Later in the story, Scout decides that Tom Robinson is innocent, so it would be wrong to convict him only because of his race. Similarly, neighbors affect individuals with...

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