Lessons learned throughout To Kill a mocking bird!
“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though everybody is watching March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in. ”-Mandy Hale
In the south of the United States during the 30’s in the town of Maycomb, Alabama we follow the upbringing of two children in a racist, judging, non compassionate society. In the book To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee Jem and Scout Finch learn many lessons through out the book that will help them further themselves in life. They learn valuable lessons on not judging a person without walking in their shoes, and to have empathy toward others. Firstly, One lesson that Jem and Scout learn is don’t pre-judge a person without walking in their shoes.
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Intolerance of peoples actions and opinions seem to be one of the most crucial problems we face in our world today, things were really no different down in Maycomb in the 30s. Weather it be racial bias or preconceived nations many of the problems or situations that go down in this book revolve around this delemia . Atticus was right when he told Scout “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, pg. 39).
Many characters were pre-judged by Jem and scout like Boo Radley, The children made him look like a monster the knowledge the children had of Boo comes from the gossip that runs around the town of him from the other characters in Maycomb, primarily Miss. Stephanie Crawford. As events happen throughout the novel, Jem and Scout come to respect him as an individual and his choice to remain seperated from society. Like Boo Radley rumors are spread around town when Dolphus Raymond comes to town for the trial.
The children hear rumors on how he is a alcoholic and a nigger lover and chooses to like the black people over white people. They believe these rumors and go on with what they are doing, but when Dill had left the courthouse crying and was upset about the way Tom Robinson has been treated during the direct examination they come face to face with Dolphus himself. They come to understand that Dolphus indeed does prefer black people over the white people, but most of the rumors spread about him are not true. He said ” ‘Some folks don’t—like the way I live.
Now I could say the hell with ‘em, I don’t care if they don’t like it. I do say I don’t care if they don’t like it, right enough—but I don’t say the hell with ’em, see? ‘…. ‘I try to give ‘em a reason, you see. It helps folks if they can latch onto a reason. When I come to town, which is seldom, if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can say Dolphus Raymond’s in the clutches of whiskey—that’s why he won’t change his ways. He can’t help himself, that’s why he lives the way he does. ” (Lee, pg. 268) A character like Mrs. Dobous is believe to be a witch, a mean, cruel, and harsh lady.
She is really pre-judged by Jem and Scout when they talk to her, but in reality Mrs. Dubose is a morphine addict who had vowed to go clean before she died, and needed Jem and Scout without their knowledge to keep her off the stuff for longer and longer periods of time. Atticus tells the kids the lesson he hopes they’ve learned from her. The lesson on courage. Second, another lesson Jem and Scout learned through the novel was on treating people with empathy. Empathy is most often defined by the metaphors of ‘standing in someone else’s shoes’ or ‘seeing through someone else’s eyes’.
In the Novel Jem and Scout go through a lot of situations where empathy is needed to understand the situation or the bigger picture. Like the situation that went on with Walter Cunningham. During this novel Jem develops a strong emotional intelligence that helps and allows him to understand the situation of the people around him. He sees what goes on with Scout and Walter and he invites Walter over to their house for supper, Jem stops Scout form picking and beating on Walter because he understands the painful and unplesent things Walter and his family face on a daily basis.
Scout develops her empathy from this situation when Calpurnia pulls her into the kitchen and lays out the Cunningham’s situation to her. “Yo’ folks might be better’n the Cunningham’s but it don’t count for nothin’ the way you’re disgracin’ ‘em. ” (Lee. Pg 26). With everything that happens with Walter and the Cunningham’s Scout and Jem Learn how to emphasize with both Walter and his family. Another situation where empathy was used to understand the bigger picture was with Aurther Radley (Boo). Jem and scout never understood why boo never wanted to come out of his house.
They first believe all the rumors spread about him, but then slowly throught the book had a change of heart and started to turn around. They came to conclusion that Boo was not being forced to stay in his house but that he didn’t want to come out, he didn’t want to live with society of Maycomb. This was evident because in the end of the book Boo saves the children from Bob Ewell and brings them to Atticus, scout points him out to Atticus and Tate and he was so scared, timid, quiet, and very sensitive to his surrounding, he was harmless.
Now we understand the Boo was not a “malevolent phantom” but that Boo Radley is a discreet and quiet person who displays good moral values and knows when to stand up for what is right. Furthermore another example of empathy is when Scout brought up Dill’s father. Dill does not really have a father in his life, he bounces from family member to family member. He does not have a tight family like the Finches do. So hen Scout starts to question Dill about his father Jem steeps in and stops it.
He kind of feels what Dill is going through, because his mother died so he knows how it feels not to have one parent around. Since he is such a caring and understanding boy, he knows Dill is probably hurting and crushed about his father situation and does not want him upset. In conclusion, Jem and scout have learned much on these lessons that will defiantly further them in life and have become very mature children through the development of this book. The challenges and obstacles that they have overcome not only are huge for their age but will impact their life forever.