To Kill a Mockingbird Essay example

Submitted By Gabby28
Words: 1402
Pages: 6

The novel 'To Kill A Mockingbird' written by Harper Lee includes two young children, Jem and Scout who live in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama. The story is told from Scouts point of view as an adult as she reflects on her childhood, told in first person point of view. She identifies some of the important issues of the 1930's. The children's father, Atticus Finch, is the town’s lawyer. He takes on an important case that will change their lives forever. Atticus and other members teach the children some important life lessons. This includes courage from Mrs Dubose who is the Finch's neighbour, seeing things from others perspectives, the importance of equality for everyone no matter who they are and finally fighting for what you believe in.

The theme of learning lessons can be seen when Walter Cunningham comes to the Finch’s for lunch. Maycomb has three different types of prejudice, class, sex and race. Scout has been exposed to these prejudices and when Walter who is a lower class comes to lunch with them she treats him with little respect. We can see the emotion she shows towards him when she says “He ain’t company Cal, he’s just a Cunningham”. She says this to the Finch’s black maid, Calpurnia, who like Walter understands personally about the prejudice. She replies to Scout “Don’t matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house y’all company.” Harper Lee’s intention is here is to teach the readers that everyone should be treated the same, no matter where you come from or who you are. Calpurnia’s strong personal voice helps the reader to understand the perspective on prejudice from a more personal experience and the pain she felt of being judged. Cal looks out for Walter and that’s what she tries to teach Scout. Having Scout involved in this action helps the readers to understand the lesson more clearly. The purpose of this was to show the prejudice in the Maycomb society and how it affects everyone. It also can be an example of how if everyone was treated equally it would be a whole lot nicer to live there.
The second lesson that the children learn is courage, which is shown by Mrs Dubose who is a neighbour of the Finch’s. Mrs. Dubose recognizes she has a flaw and that she has to fix. She is addicted to Morphine and makes a goal to die free of her weakness. Atticus wants his children to learn that this is what real courage is. He wanted to show them that just because you are powerful it doesn’t mean that you are brave. Jem complains about how rude Mrs Dubose is towards the Finch's. He learns this when Atticus made him to read to her after he destroyed her flowers, that’s when Scout follows and sits with him while he reads. Atticus says “I wanted you to see what real courage is... It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway... She was the bravest person I ever knew.” Here the reader understands that even though Mrs Dubose had a drug addiction she was willing to do whatever it took to “die free” and not be held on to anything when she died. She knew that it would be hard to beat but that didn’t stop her from trying. This can also relate to other events in the novel such as how Atticus fights for Tom Robinson even though he knows there is not much chance in winning, he sees it through, no matter how tough it gets. Having Scout involved with Mrs Dubose has helped create a sense of belief towards how scout perceives things. She learns that lesson and she takes it away and has learnt from it for future events that may be challenging. Harper Lee helped us to understand the theme more because she made it so it was teaching the readers this lesson as well. Scout being part of the action is helpful to see things clearly and it is more simple and easy to understand what she sees from the situation developing in front of her innocent eyes. The purpose of this lesson was to show that courage is one important thing to life and its not just courage meaning that you are powerful or high and mighty, it