essay rough copy

Submitted By gwest0v0
Words: 1565
Pages: 7

George Westgarth
Ms. K. Oliver
10 April 2015
Role models in To Kill a Mockingbird

Martin Luther King Jr. once said “I criticize America because I love her. I want her to stand as a moral example to the World.” In the book To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Jem and Scout encounter quite a few different role models. These mentors range from family, friends, and people throughout the neighbourhood. Since the kids (along with Dill) practically raise themselves by exploring their neighbourhood and street, they soon come to realize that life is more than just fun and games. Atticus, their father, Miss Maudie Atkinson, their sweet neighbour and Culpurnia, who is considered part of the family, all help to teach and mature the children for adulthood. Throughout the novel, there are many role models for the children. Each, Atticus, Miss Maudie, and Bob Ewell teach an important lesson and set a strong example, which makes Jem and Scout see Maycomb county in a different perspective. Their father, Atticus Finch, really has a strong impact on the growth of Jem and Scouts maturity. He is an excellent role model for them both, teaches them not to be judgemental, how to not let anyone change who you are and lastly teaches them about loyalty. Atticus is the perfect role model for both of the kids, Jem and Scout, he only expects from them, what he expects from himself. The first lesson that he teaches is not to be judgemental of others. “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.”(p. 30)From this quote there is the understanding that Atticus is trying to teach Jem and Scout not to judge people until you have ‘walked around in their shoes’, until you’ve lived life like them. He’s teaching them not to judge people by their appearance or by the way they talk, you get have to know the person, learn there personality before you can judge them. Atticus also teaches them to always be themselves no matter who they come across that says otherwise, or no matter what other people tell them to be. “Atticus is the same in his house as he is on the public streets.”(p. 47)What is meant by this quote is that almost all of the members of Maycomb county are hypocritical or ‘two faced’, where as Atticus stays true to himself. This is a good lesson for the children because it teaches them that they should not change who they are or what they believe in. For example, the people of Maycomb believe that blacks are not equal to whites, where as Atticus (including others) believe that everyone (that deserves it) should be equal. The last lesson that Atticus teaches to Jem and Scout is Loyalty, which is an extremely important lesson to know. “Alexandra, Calpurnia’s not leaving this house until she wants to. You may think otherwise but I couldn’t have got along without her all these years. She’s a faithful member of this family…”(p. 138) This shows that Atticus counts loyalty and this is a great characteristic for a role model because within family and friends you need loyalty in order to have trust. Which is also great for the children to stay loyal to their friends and family. Teaching about not being judgemental, being yourself and loyalty are just a few ways that Atticus shows he is an excellent role model. Another excellent role model, mainly for Scout, would be Miss Maudie. Miss Maudie Aktinson makes an excellent role model for Scout. Like Calpurnia, Miss Maudie takes on a mother like role for Scout. Miss Maudie Atkinson teaches equality, not to be judgemental, much like Atticus, and she teaches religious lesson. The first thing that Miss Maudie taught Scout was about equality. “Jem and I had considerable faith in Miss Maudie…she was our friend.”(p. 45) From this, it is noticeable that Scout and Jem count Miss Maudie as there loyal friend. Miss Maudie treats the children as if they were matured adults and teaches them that people should be treated