Top-Rated Free Essay

To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

Good Essays
Practise Essay- How does Part One of “To Kill a Mockingbird” show the importance of understanding individual difference?

Harper Lee’s 1960 novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” conveys the importance of understanding individual difference through many aspects. Individual difference is the fact that every person is different from the other, that no one is the same and we all have our different views and opinions. This is portrayed through Miss Caroline’s unfriendliness towards Scout, the different views of the town, people growing up and changing, including Jem’s misjudgement of Mrs Dubose, and the misunderstanding of Boo Radley never leaving his home. Techniques such as metaphors, the use of a child narrator and imagery are frequently used throughout the novel. These are used to tell Scout’s childhood recollections and the differences within the town.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a novel that shows the differences of people throughout the town Maycomb County. A range of misconceptions are discovered, one including the thought that Boo Radley never leaves his home, and is described as over six feet tall and awfully ugly, a monster who strangles cats with his bare hands and then eats them, which is revealed early on in the novel by Scout and Jem. This led on to many fantasies, myths and rumours created and believed by the children of the town. They imagine Boo as a completely different person to what he actually is. Dill said:

"We're askin' him real politely to come out sometimes, and tell us what he does in there – we said we wouldn't hurt him and we'd buy him an ice cream." (Ch. 5)

Boo Radley becomes such a figure of fascination for the children that they have many attempts to get him out of his house. This obsession describes their strange longing for connection with him. We eventually find out Boo stands as a figure of innocence that befriends and protects the children in his own way. This scene shows the importance of understanding individual difference as every person in the town has their own portrayal of Boo, the children’s more juvenile and completely different from the adults.

Miss Caroline is new to town and is unaware of the social hierarchy. She is impolite to Scout and does not understand why Walter Cunningham does not take anything he cannot give back in return. Her character is a major factor of understanding individual difference. Scout is shunned by Miss Caroline because she is ahead of her classmates and has already been educated by her father and her maid Calpurnia. Miss Caroline is new to Maycomb, and she brings a new way of teaching with her. She is utterly unable to cope when she finds out Scout’s reading and writing exceed first grade standards:

"We don't write in the first grade, we print. You won't learn to write until you're in the third grade" (Ch. 2).

Her ‘must follow the rules’ meaningless attitude suggests that it would be a smarter move for Scout to adapt to the rules. Scout soon learns that stupid rules won’t change so you just have to make a show of following them to get by. We gain a better understanding of the Maycomb community and how it functions through this.

In “To Kill a Mockingbird” we meet Mrs Dubose, who is a sick and mad old neighbour who lives two houses down from the Finches. The children are scared of her, as she yells bad things towards the two innocent kids. Jem is unresponsive to it all at first, until it reached a certain point where he swipes at her Camellia bushes, destroying them. Jem’s judgement of Mrs Dubose:

“Jem and I hated her. If she was on the porch when we passed, we would be raked by her wrathful gaze, subjected to ruthless interrogation regarding our behavior, and given a melancholy prediction on what we would amount to when we grew up, which was always nothing”. (11.3)

This quote demonstrates the children’s fear and hate for her. Jem does not know about Mrs Dubose’s morphine addiction witch was the cause of this behaviour. She created terror in the kid’s lives, just through the power of her words. They did not understand at this time that Mrs Dubose was in fact nothing else than a morphine addict, and later on they realize the reason she died was because she could at last finally free herself from her addiction. When Atticus explained this, it was important for the children to understand Mrs Dubose individual difference.

In conclusion, the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” does demonstrate the importance of individual difference through these key aspects- The thought of Boo Radley being a monster, Miss Caroline’s misunderstandings regarding Scout, and Jem’s judgement of Mrs Dubose. Everyone is diverse and they all have their own different views and opinions.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Bryant 9/25/12 To Kill a Mockingbird Essay To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was a pivotal novel in literature at the time of its release and is looked at as a modern day classic. It has been renowned as a masterpiece of modern day American literature. For its strong and colorful characters, realistic yet fitting setting, and serious yet eye-opening topics and themes are just a handful of reasons why this book is so strong. For these reasons along with others…

    • 771 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Content within Books To Kill a Mockingbird Essay Assignment ENG 1D1 03 Alex Gardner December 2010 Mr. Przemieniecki Inappropriate content within books There are many different books that are studied in schools, but one should be removed from shelves. Students should not be reading about certain subject matters until they are fully invested into that specific subject. Certain inappropriate topics are racism and dated subject matter. The book, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, should be…

    • 921 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Honors English 10 To Kill A Mockingbird Essay In the book, To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee shows how racism, gender roles, and education caused a negative affect on everyday life during the 1930s. Maybe one has never dealt with racism but that someone in that person’s family has; reading Lee’s book may make them feel as if they are right there in the 1930s. The way people of any race in the community used to treat others compared to the way people are treated now is much different. Things…

    • 430 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Alex Kovacev Mr.Kasper ENG 1D1 Wednesday, November-07-12 Mockingbird Essay How would you feel if a town full of prejudice tormented you because of your past? Well this becomes a reality in To Kill a Mockingbird for two very innocent people. Through the symbol of the Mockingbird, and the characters of Tom Robinson and Boo Radley, Harper Lee examines the necessity of protecting vulnerable members of society in To Kill a Mockingbird. Jem introduces Boo as a blood thirsty animal, but when…

    • 579 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    To Kill a Mockingbird Essay – Racism and Prejudice Harper Lee uses her book To Kill a Mockingbird to explore two major issues; racism and prejudice. Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. The issue of racism is explored through Tom Robinson and his court case, where Tom Robinson; a black man; was accused of raping a white girl, he is convicted purely because he is a black man and his accuser is white. Harper Lee uses Tom’s court case and…

    • 1139 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Briana Jackson March 1st, 2013 To Kill a Mockingbird – Part I Essay To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a classic bildungsroman novel that depicts a persistent sense of maturity that is distinctive throughout the first part of the story. Maturity can be seen as either an understanding that comes with age, or an understanding that comes with experience. Set in the Deep South during the Great Depression, Jem and Scout Finch learn the real life in Maycomb…

    • 565 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    To Kill A Mockingbird In “To Kill a Mockingbird” by harper lee clearly says that killing a mockingbird is a sin because it does not commit crimes,besides making its beautiful music. therefore there are a few characters in the story that could be considered to be mockingbirds. Tom robinson could be considered to be the most obvious mockingbird in the book. furthermore in chapter 17-19 in the court session while tate the sheriff, and mr ewell, and Tom Robinson made their testimonies it…

    • 712 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Practice Essay Cultural values and social practices change and evolve over time. Cultural values and social practices inevitably over time as individuals and societies are subject to change with it. In the timeless bildungsroman novel, “To Kill A Mockingbird” (1960) written by Harper Lee, it explores the confronting experiences of a young child, living in a world of racism, injustice and disability. In a more modern context, however, the novel “The Family Law” (2009) written by Benjamin Law, is…

    • 1658 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    To kill a mockingbird Essay Scout is quite a character in the book to kill a mocking bird. She goes through many adventures, yet many tribulations. She learns a lot of lessons, and is taught some values in life on what to do, and, what not to so. With her being a character with importance in the novel, it would be necessary for some of her character traits to be gone over. These are some traits that describe scout. Tomboyish, anyone who has ever read to kill a mockingbird knows that scout is…

    • 443 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ – Essay “Jem and Scout learn many lessons about life during the course of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. What do you believe to be the most important? Consider what Atticus and Calpurnia attempt to teach the children during the story.” During the course of the novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee, the siblings Scout and Jem learn many important life lessons. They are taught a number of important lessons by adult figures in their life, like Atticus, Calpurnia and many others…

    • 1067 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays