Lee uses the innocent eyes of 9 year old Scout, to discuss the controversial topics discussed throughout the novel, making it more acceptable. These are Scouts first times experiencing immorality and even though she doesn’t quite understand the full significance of her experiences, the reader may. A great example of Scouts innocence is shown when she unknowingly saves her father from a lynch mob. Atticus is faced with serious danger when a lynch mob confronts him. Scout is not aware of this when she starts a conversation with one of the men, Mr Cunningham. She says “don’t you remember me, Mr Cunningham? I’m Jean Louise Finch. You bought us some hickory nuts one time, remember? your boy, he’s in my grade, he does right well ‘a real nice boy. We bought him home for dinner one time. Maybe he told you about me, I beat him up one time but he was real nice about it. Tell him hey from me won’t you?” This conversation brings him back to reality, he realises he is threatening a man, like him a father, a man who has helped him and his family in the past. The first person view makes the reader see and feel the entire scene through Scout, creating tension in us but not in her. This tension was soon broken by Mr Cunningham when he said “I’ll tell him you said hey, little lady.” After this the men cleared out and it seemed they had a taste of what it would have felt like had they been in Atticus’ shoes.
The novel highlighted that during the time when the novel was set people seemed to lack the ability to see and feel things from another person’s perspective, this and equality are portrayed as important things for Atticus. While conversing with Scout, Atticus decides to give her a very important lesson. He says “First of all, if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along better with all kinds of folks. 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 uses imagery and metaphors to explain that if people had the intelligence and willingness to see things from another’s perspective they would have a different outlook on life. They would treat people with more respect and kindness, leaving behind injustice and inequality.
During the time the novel was set racism permeated the town, black people were perceived as cheats and liars and were quite often stripped of their dignity. The 1930s was also a time of segregation and the black people were to travel, eat and get education