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To Kill a Mockingbird

By queals Dec 13, 2012 1586 Words
Firsthand Experiences
The amount of technology in this world is amazing and where we are in this era is incredible. As technology gets into the minds of children they seem to learn faster than before. It takes minutes for children to understand where adults never really grasp what they hold in their hands. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses the knowledge of understanding in her story. Jean Louis Finch “Scout” matures by seeing and hearing events most kids her age do not with the trial of Tom Robinson’s trial revealing that firsthand experience brings knowledge. Scout grows through her encounter with Dolphus Raymond outside the courthouse during the trial. Before the trial of Tom Robinson Scout has a negative opinion towards him. During the trial Dill becomes sick, so Dill and Scout proceeded outside and came across Dolphus Raymond. Scout and Dill sit at the tree and start talking, Scout narrates this, “As Mr. Dolphus Raymond was an evil man I accepted his invitation reluctantly, but I followed Dill. Somehow, I didn’t think Atticus would like it if we became friendly with Mr. Raymond, and I knew Aunt Alexandra wouldn’t (200-201). Scout is quite ignorant in this quote because she looks down on Mr. Raymond by calling Mr. Raymond a sinful man. She is inconsiderate to Mr. Raymond because she does not know what he is dealing with. The fact Scout says that Atticus would not want her talking to him is amazing because Atticus is compared to a moral compass which means that Atticus does not normally judge people and he makes sure his children do not. Even though Scout is talking with Mr. Raymond it is not really considered a firsthand experience because she is judging him before she gets to talk to him. However, after Mr. Raymond explains himself Scouts her opinion changes of him. When Dill and Scout are outside during the trial they run into Dolphus Raymond and sit down and talk to him. Mr. Raymond says this, I try to give ‘em a reason, you see. It helps folks if they can latch onto a reason. When I come to town, which is seldom, if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can say Dolphus Raymond’s in the clutches of whiskey- that’s why he won’t change his ways. He can’t help himself, that’s why he lives the way he does. . . It ain’t honest but it’s mighty helpful to folks. Secretly, Miss. Finch, I’m not much of a drinker, but you see they could never, never understand that I live like I do because that’s the way I want to live. . . (Lee 200- 201) After finally seeing the whole side of the story Scout starts to like Mr. Raymond. Scout is starting to like him because she feels bad that he has commit fraud against himself, so people have a reason he acts the way he does. Mr. Raymond believes that if he does it the way he does no one will bother him for living with colored people. After hearing what he had to say it made her feel sorry for him because no one understands him. Scout thinks his life is real secretive because he does it in an eccentric way as in hiding his real self from everyone else. Although people’s views of Dolphus Raymond are negative Scout is able to see the good in him that no one else sees. Scout views of her Aunt Alexandra are negative because she thinks she does not like her. Scout thinks she is trying to control her life. She did this at Christmas time, when they were eating dinner. When Aunt Alexandra arrived she was there to help watch Scout and Jem. A couple days after she arrived Scout heard this between Atticus and Aunt Alexandra, “. . . you’ve got to do something about her,’ Aunty was saying. You’ve let things go on too long, Atticus, too long.’ ‘I don’t see any harm in letting her go out there. Cal’d look after her there as well as she does here.’ Who was the ‘her’ they were talking about? My heart sank: me. I felt the starched walls of a sofa pink cotton penitentiary closing in on me, and for the second time in my life I thought of running away. Immediately” (136). In the quotation Scout shows her negative view of her aunt by talking about running away. Scout dislikes her aunt so much that her aunt is pushing her towards running away from home. Scout said she only thought of running away once before, but the force of her aunt is making her think it again. She also thinks about being in a penitentiary, which is saying that her aunt is so controlling she like in prison, and she wants to escape the prison. The penitentiaries walls are Scout describes as sofa pink cotton. We normally think of pink as a girl color and with that description it means that she is being forced to turn into a woman because the walls are closing in and she is has less freedom than before with her aunt there. However when Atticus tells Scout, Aunt Alexandra, Miss. Maudie, and Calpurnia of the death of Tom Robinson Scouts view of her aunt changes. This is Scouts firsthand experience where her views change of her aunt from negative to positive. These are the events that took place after the news of Tom Robinsons death, “Aunt Alexandra rose and smoothed the various whale bone rides along her hips. She took her hanker chief for her belt and wiped her nose she patted her hair and said, ‘Do I show it?’ ‘Not a sign,’ said Miss. Maudie. After all if aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I” (237). This quotation is very robust because Scout calls her Aunt a lady because she is going is deeply upset about a colored man dying. Scout always thought her was a true southern woman because she thought she hated colored people from what Francis said when they were at Finch’s landing. In saying that Aunt Alexandra says Atticus is ruining the family and they will never be able to walk the streets of Maycomb again because of what Atticus is doing in defending Tom Robinson. But when Aunt Alexandra shows remorse for the death of Tom Robinson, Scout doesn’t think of aunt as a southern woman, but as a lady. After the firsthand experience occurs with Aunt Alexandra, Scouts view of her is different because she likes her now. Tom Robinson was the man Scouts father “Atticus” was defending for raping Mayella Ewell. Before Scout saw Tom Robinson she was hearing racist comments about her family and Tom Robinson from neighbors, people in town, family, and classmates. One of encounters Scouts has is with Cecil Jacobs, “Cecil Jacobs made me forget he had announced in the schoolyard the day before that Scout Finch daddy defended niggers, I denied it, but told Jem” (74). Scout does not like people making fun of her family like how Cecil Jacobs did. The quotation is prejudice because it is saying that Atticus defends niggers. Atticus was appointed to defend Tom Robinson it wasn’t his decision, and Scout says that if she knew that she would tell that to everyone. Scout wishes everyone would stop bothering her about it. The only person she talks to about this is Jem because she trusts him and gets guidance from him on what to do. Scout has not yet had a up to close experience with Tom Robinson. During the trial Scout got as close to a firsthand experience as she could. During the trial when Tom was on the stand he said “You all know of Brother Tom Robinson’s trouble. He has been a faithful member of First Purchase since he was a boy. The collection taked up today and for the next three Sundays will go to Helen his wife, to help her at home” (120-121). This is a firsthand experience with Tom Robinson because it shows he is a family man, because he has a wife and kids that are struggling. It also shows he is very religious because it says he been going there since he was a boy. Even though Scout does not personally see or meet Tom Robinson she still gets a firsthand experience because she is seeing a good side of him instead of the negative side like a rapist. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Jean Louis Finch “Scout” matures with firsthand experiences she has with some of the residents of Maycomb revealing that firsthand experiences brings knowledge of that specific person. Although she has not met Dolphus Raymond she still is prejudice towards him. Then when she meets him under the tree outside the court house she sits and talks to him and gets to know him with a firsthand experience. Scout also discovers that Aunt Alexandra is also a lady not a prison guard trying to make her run away. Scout disliked her aunt at first, but with a firsthand experience she gets to know her aunt better than she did before. Scout never really gets a good firsthand experience with Tom Robinson, but she sees he’s a hardworking man and a family man as well a holy man. She sees this when she goes to First Purchase. Without any doubt Scout matures with the click of getting to understand something better.

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