To Kill a Mockingbird

Published: 2021-06-29 07:02:52
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Category: English

Type of paper: Essay

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To kill a mocking bird

Essay: What does Scout learn?
Through the course of the novel To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Scout Finch learns that society will unwillingly judge people upon their actions. She discovers much prejudice through her own experiences of judging people. Harper Lee shows us through the use of the symbol of the 'Mad Dog', that social and racial prejudice influences Scout's life as she matures. Scout's relationship with her father teaches her to understand and show empathy towards others. As Scout grows, she learns that prejudice is habitual in society.
In the beginning of the novel, Scout sees herself as being in a high social class and neglects people who are seen to her as less valuable. When Walter Cunningham was invited to the Finches house for supper, he covers his meal in syrup with a 'generous hand' (25). This displeases Scout. As Scout protests against this, Calpurnia interrupts her and explains "There's some folks who don't eat like us, but you ain't called to contradict 'em at the table when they don't.' (26). Calpurnia's moral lesson teaches Scout to respect people's differences, even if you're seen as a higher social class then them. When Calpurnia addresses Walter as 'company', Scout discourteously insinuates, "He ain't company, Cal, he's just a Cunningham." (26). Harper Lee uses this quote to foreshadow important advice that Atticus gives to Scout. Atticus teaches Scout "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. (31). This advice helps Scout to grow more mature and respectful of others. Towards the conclusion of the novel, Scout approaches Mr Dolphus Raymond. Here Scout believes that Mr Raymond is an "evil man" (218). Scout believes that "Atticus wouldn't like it if she became friends with him." Upon meeting Mr Raymond, Scout discovers that he is ashamed of his relationship with an African-American woman. She discovers that Dolphus pretends this he is an alcoholic so that society will deem him reasonable instead of despising him. Scout learns to respect everyone for his or her differences and reasons.
Through the use of symbols, Harper Lee shows us that as Scout matures; she is influenced by racial prejudice. In the novel, the Mad Dog represents the evil, unfairness and prejudice in Maycomb. It represents all of the racial prejudice towards the African-Americans. When the Mad Dog roams the streets, everybody hides away in their houses with their doors and windows shut. This expresses the racially prejudice ways of the citizens of Maycomb relating to their attitude toward African-Americans. It projects the type of society Scout must grow up with. At school, Cecil Jacobs torments

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