"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

Essay by black_jack_sackCollege, Undergraduate February 2007

download word file, 5 pages 4.3

"To Kill a Mocking Bird" is essentially a novel in which the concept of education and the development of the minds of its characters. Discuss this statement with respect to Scout, Jem and Dill, and two other minor characters in the book.

In order to discuss the education of Scout, Jem and Dill, I feel it is necessary to first discuss the educators in their lives, and the different types of education available to them. This novel demonstrates the difference between a school education, its content and method of teaching, and a good quality education, which can be given by the adults who are responsible for the children in their care. To Kill a Mocking Bird demonstrates the failings of the school situation, especially for the more enquiring and un-stereotypical Scout. Scout's moral education happens almost exclusively in her home or in the presence of Maycomb residents.

This suggests that schools often only have a limited influence on the moral development of children and it is rather families and communities that shape children's moral profiles.

The primary educators in the case of the three children are their father Atticus, their maid Calpurnica, Aunt Alexandra and various members of the community. A foil to them is the local school, which is an example of the kind of education offered to most children. The essentials of a good educator include factors such as fairness, knowledge and providing a good role model.

The children have a good role model in Atticus. He demonstrates to his children that he is not a racist, nor sexist, he listens to both sides of an argument and shows that bravery is not demonstrated by strength alone. Making Jem read to Mrs. Dubose is an attempt to demonstrate what true bravery is, by a...