'Select a novel studied by you where at least one of the principal
characters is a young person. Discuss what you consider to be the most
important influence in the novel in helping that young person to develop.'
Jean-Louise Finch (Scout) is the main character in Harper Lee's 'To
kill a mockingbird'. She is a young girl who matures in the course of
the novel. The most important influence in her development is clearly
her father, Atticus.
Unlike almost all other adults in Scout's environment, he is not in any
way prejudiced against the black population of Maycomb, a small
American town in the 1930's in which all the novel's happenings take
place. He tries to instill his beliefs of the equality of all people in his
daughter and his son, Jem, in many discussions, he for instance states
that whenever a white man cheats a black man, the white man is
'trash'. He is very modest, which is shown in an incident in which he
is asked to shoot a mad dog, which he manages to do with one
precise shot, yet he never told his children of his great talent for
marksmanship, and does not go hunting because he thinks it gives
him an unfair advantage over other living things.
The main event of the novel is a trial, in which Atticus is the
defendant's lawyer, against a black man who has been falsely accused
of raping a white woman. Atticus does his best to prove Tom
Robinson's innocence, to a degree where any objective jury would
surely have found him not guilty, but it sentences him to death, as it
is expected to do by the general populace. Prior to the trial, Scout and
Jem are mocked by other children at school, which have been told...