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To Kill A Mockingbird

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Childhood is a continuous time of learning, and of seeing mistakes and using them to change your perspectives. In the book To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee illustrates how two children learn from people and their actions to respect everyone no matter what they might look like on the outside. To Kill A Mockingbird tells a story about two young kids named Scout and her older brother Jem Finch growing up in their small, racist town of Maycomb, Alabama. As the years go by they learn how their town and a lot of the people in it aren’t as perfect as they may have seemed before. When Jem and Scout’s father Atticus defends a black man in court, the town’s imperfections begin to show. A sour, little man named Bob Ewell even tries to kill Jem and Scout all because of the help Atticus gave to the black man named Tom Robinson. Throughout the novel, Harper Lee illustrates the central theme that it is wrong to judge someone by their appearance on the outside, or belittle someone because they are different.

In this book, Harper Lee clearly demonstrates the importance of not judging a book by its cover in the person of Boo Radley. Boo was a boy never seen outside his house ever since he was caught by the authorities involving himself in mischief. Rumors had been spread that he was locked in his house and chained to his bed by his overly religious family. Since people never really knew what Boo looked like, Jem made up his own theory. “Boo was six-and-a-half feet tall judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were bloodstained вЂ" if you ate an animal raw you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his faceвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (13). Although nobody really knew Boo, he was blamed for everything that went wrong in the town. As the story goes on Boo starts to secretly involve himself in Jem and Scout’s lives. He does things like putting a blanket on Scout’s shoulders during a fire at Miss. Maudie’s house. “You were so busy looking at the fire; you didn’t know it when he put the blanket around you.” Atticus tells scout (74). Boo also showed his kind heart when he put small gifts inside a tree for Jem and Scout. As the entire story unfolded Jem and Scout had finally realized that you can never judge a book by its cover, as Scout learned while reading the book The Gray Ghost at bedtime one night. Scout interrupts Atticus, “ An’ they chased him вЂ?n’ never could catch him cause they didn’t know what he looked like an’ when they finally saw him, why he hadn’t done any of those things…Atticus he was real niceвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (261)

In the middle to end sections of the book, Harper Lee incorporates more examples of the central theme by involving Jem and Scout in the life of an old woman named Mrs. Dubose. Mrs. Dubose was an elderly woman who lived alone. She spent most of her time in bed and the rest of it in a wheelchair. Mrs. Dubose doesn’t really accept the Finch’s way of life or the way that Mr. Finch raises Jem and Scout. She said “Its heartbreaking, the way Atticus finch lets his children run wild,” Scout talks about Mrs. Dubose (100). Jem and scout often try to find a path around Mrs. Dubose’s house so they don’t have to be subjected to another lecture about how they would never amount to anything. “Jem and I hated her. If she was on the porch when we passed, we would be raked by her wrathful gaze, subjected to her ruthless interrogations regarding our behavior and given a melancholy prediction on what we would amount to when we grew up, which was always nothing” (99). Since many people in the town didn’t respect Mrs. Dubose, people made up rumors, Saying



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