Once You Open Your Eyes, You Must Have Courage

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, African American, Victim Pages: 3 (952 words) Published: October 5, 2008
When a human being is a victim, they need to have courage and follow their ways, no matter what others say. Jem and Scout see people become victims of prejudice, rumors, poverty, and other atrocities in their own little town, as they grew older. In To Kill a Mockingbird, the children learn life lessons from witnessing people striving to survive different situations within Maycomb. When a challenge causes one to struggle, the children see that person, or themselves, have to have courage to do as they have before.

Jem and Scout see their small town judge the Radleys, but the Radleys still do what they have done for as long as any single person can remember. They never talk to their neighbors or open their doors and windows on Sunday. Since they have odd habits, from other’s perspectives, and keep to themselves, citizens of Maycomb start rumors about them, saying “Radley pecans [will] kill you” (Lee 9). These rumors criticized the Radleys and made people afraid of them. Calpunia had something to say about them, stating one day that Mr. Radley was “the meanest man God ever blew breath into” (Lee 12). Since he was “mean,” that held more rumors to be made about them. The stories make children believe Boo was locked up in a damp basement in the courthouse for years and is now chained up in his house. The Radleys stay the way they are; despite the rumors, remaining removed from human contact. The Radleys are victims of misunderstanding and people’s cruel stories “unwilling to discard their initial suspicions” (Lee 9). Jem and Scout witness the Radleys to stick to their ways since they go against the crowd, despite society’s wants.

The Finch children begin to notice many children’s families are victims of poverty, especially the Cunninghams, but the Cunninghams are different; they never take charity or have to depend on others. The Cunninghams are one of the poorest families in Maycomb, but they have the strongest determination to survive; and are the hardest...
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