Analysis of Major Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
v. unusual little girl, in own qualities and in social position. unusually intelligent (learns to read before beginning school), unusually confident (fights boys without fear), unusually thoughtful (worries essential goodness evil of mankind), unusually good (always acts best intentions). In terms social identity, unusual for being tomboy prim proper Southern world Maycomb. quickly realizes reading To Kill a Mockingbird Scout who she is because way Atticus raised her. nurtured mind, conscience, individuality without bogging her down fussy social hypocrisies notions of propriety. While most girls Scout’s position wearing dresses learning manners, Scout, thanks to Atticus’s hands-off parenting style, wears overalls learns climb trees Jem and Dill. does not always grasp social niceties (tells teacher 1 fellow students too poor pay her back for lunch), human behaviour often baffles her (as when one of teachers criticizes Hitler’s prejudice against Jews indulging own prejudice against blacks), Atticus’s protection Scout hypocrisy social pressure rendered her open, forthright, well meaning. beginning novel, Scout innocent, good-hearted five-year-old child no experience evils of the world. As novel progresses, Scout has first contact evil form racial prejudice, basic development her character governed question whether will emerge from that contact with conscience optimism intact whether will be bruised, hurt, or destroyed like Boo Radley and Tom Robinson. Thanks Atticus’s wisdom, Scout learns though humanity great capacity for evil, also has great capacity good, and that the evil often mitigated if one approaches others outlook sympathy and understanding. Scout’s development into person capable assuming outlook marks culmination novel indicates that, whatever evil she encounters, she will retain her conscience without becoming cynical or jaded. Though still a child end of the book, perspective life develops that innocent child into that of near grown-up. Atticus one most prominent citizens Maycomb during Great Depression, Atticus relatively well off in time widespread poverty. Because penetrating intelligence, calm wisdom, exemplary behavior, respected by everyone, including v. poor. functions moral backbone Maycomb, person to whom others turn times doubt and trouble. But conscience makes him so admirable ultimately causes falling out people Maycomb. Unable to abide town’s comfortable ingrained racial prejudice, agrees defend Tom Robinson, black man. Atticus’s action makes him object scorn Maycomb, but simply too impressive a figure to be scorned for long. After trial, seems destined to be held same high regard as before. practices ethic sympathy and understanding that he preaches Scout and Jem never holds grudge against people of Maycomb. Despite their callous indifference racial inequality, Atticus sees much to admire in them. recognizes people both good and bad qualities, and is determined admire good while understanding forgiving bad. Atticus passes great moral lesson to Scout—this perspective protects innocent being destroyed contact evil. though Atticus heroic figure novel and respected man Maycomb, neither Jem nor Scout consciously idolizes him beginning novel. Both embarrassed he is older other fathers and that doesn’t hunt or fish. But Atticus’s wise parenting, which sums up Chapter 30 by saying, “Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I’ve tried to live so I can look squarely back at him,” ultimately wins their respect. By end novel, Jem, in particular, fiercely devoted to Atticus (Scout, still little girl, loves him uncritically). Though children’s attitude toward him evolves, Atticus characterized throughout book by absolute consistency. stands rigidly committed justice thoughtfully willing view matters perspectives others. does not develop in novel retains qualities equal measure, making him novel’s moral guide voice conscience. Jem If Scout...
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