Lessons in To Kill a Mockingbird
As children grow up, they often learn many lessons about life. Life lessons may be positive or negative, but all children are exposed to those as they mature to adulthood. Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, reveals those lessons through Hem and Scout finch, children of Atticus Finch, a lawyer. Set in the 1930’s, Depression in Maycomb, Alabama, Scout and Jem gain many insights about life as they interact with the town’s various citizens. The life lessons they learn include showing courage in the face of difficulties, not judging others, and fighting against racial prejudice.
To start with, a major life lesson Scout and Jem Finch learn is not to judge others until you step into their shoes and see life how the other person sees it. Jem and Scout learn this important lesson from Atticus. An example of this is when Scout was making the new teacher irate because Scout already knew how to read. Scout knew how to read because she read with her dad almost every night. Miss Caroline, the teacher, told her to tell her dad to stop reading with her. Scout loved to read with Atticus, which in turn annoyed Scout. Atticus steps in, however, and says to Scout not to judge someone until you see their side of the story. Atticus says “’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.’” (Lee 22). Atticus explains to Scout that it was Miss Caroline’s first year teaching and that she had just been taught a new way to teach things, the Dewey Decimal System. A different example of how not judging others is a life lesson is at the end of the novel when Scout is on Arthur Radley’s porch, and she realizes what life is like for Arthur Radley. She realizes that Arthur Radley can see the entire neighborhood, and that he doesn’t need to go out, because he can experience the feeling of living in the neighborhood just by looking out of his front window.
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