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To Kill A Mockingbird Essay Sample

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To Kill A Mockingbird Essay Sample

In To Kill a Mockingbird, a tremendous amount of developement occurs as both Jem and Scout mature from a somewhat childish innocence into respected members of the community. The children’s perceptions of Calpurnia, Mrs. Dubose, and Boo Radley are a direct affiliation to how the two Finch children view Maycomb and the prejudice behavior which it posses. Being children, Scout and Jem have the simple duties of a minor, which is to have fun and to stay out of trouble. But along the way, they also learn many important things. Although the majority of their hometown is prejudiced, Scout and Jem’s innocent minds remain non prejudice and caring of others. To them, all is equal, so therefore, all should be treated equal.

Calpurnia is the first individual in the novel to introduce a sense of racial bias to that of Jem and Scout. Calpurnia had always been viewed as a mother-figure and nothing more. However, as the summer developes without the presence of Dill or Atticus, Scout often finds herself in the kitchen with Calpurnia. The two develope such a great bond that Calpurnia feels obligated to take both Jem and Scout to see that of her own church. Both children were welcomed with a respectful display by the members of First Purchase. However, the children couldn’t help but notice the the lack of materials within the church’s walls. “There was no sign of piano, organ, hymnbooks, church programs- the familiar ecclesiastical impedimenta we saw every Sunday.” (Lee pg. 120) Scout and Jem had witnessed the unfair accommodations bestowed upon that of the black people of Maycomb. This would be a give a large contribution to both children’s perspectives toward Maycomb’s judicial system. Until that moment, both children were unaware of the conditions such citizens as Calpurnia and Tom Robinson endured.

Through their everyday life, Scout and Jem are able to gain a sense of what it means to be courageous. In the beginning of the novel, both children face terrible encounters with their neighbor, Mrs. Dubose. Both could do nothing to please her. Regardless, Mrs. Dubose often shouted vicious comments and criticized the children as they passed. Comments such as “don’t you say hey to me, you ugly girl!” (Lee pg. 99) were more than a often occurrence. However, Mrs. Dubose hits a nerve in that of Jem when she proceeds to say, “your father’s no better than the niggers and trash he works for!” (Lee pg. 102). As a result Jem cuts off the tops of her camellias in a rage. Atticus discovers Jem’s actions and orders him to apologize immediately.

Unfortunately, for Jem, his punishment is to read to Mrs. Dubose for an hour each day for a month. Left with no choice, Jem gathers up his courage and heads to her house everyday after school. Being that of a faithful sister, Scout sticks to her brother’s side and makes the horrible trips with him. Shortly after the end of Jem’s punishment, the children find out that Mrs. Dubose had passed away from cancer. Atticus explains to the children that Mrs. Dubose acted in such a bitter manner because she was going through such pain, and not because of her intentions. As a result, Jem and Scout learn about death and they gain an understanding for the type of person Mrs. Dubose was and her views of life.

As the novel progresses, the children’s changing attitude towards Boo Radley is an important developement of Scout and Jem from innocence toward a grown-up moral value. In the beginning, Boo represents the unknown. The children wonder about Boo and his strange way of life, but really have no idea of who he is. At one point, the children trespass the Radley property in hopes of finding some clues which will better explain Boo’s character. As the story progresses, Boo becomes more of a symbol of kindness and bravery than that of a freak, which he is thought to be. He leaves treasures for the children in a knothole, and watches out for Jem and Scout whenever possible. In the end, Scout realizes that Boo is not a monster at all, but simply a person whom is misunderstood by the people of Maycomb. “Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad.” (Lee pg. 278) This is an appropriate illustration that Scout has developed into a sympathetic and understanding individual.

At the end of the story, both Jem and Scout have better perspectives on racism and human dignity. Through many of the characters, they learn about compassion, dealing with prejudice, and judging others. Though racism is a controversial matter in their town, Jem and Scout manage to escape other peoples’ ideas and secure their own. There is no doubt both posses characteristics of an individual, someone whom will stick to their own perspective no matter how cruel and racist other people can be. In their adult world, Scout and Jem learn to treat all people fairly with dignity and respect.

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