"To Kill a Mockingbird" Summary and diction

Essay by Gogators33Junior High, 9th gradeA, September 2006

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"To Kill A Mockingbird": A Loss of Innocence

Imagine a place that is engulfed in racism; a place where prejudice leads to death. Maycomb County the place where a little innocent girl, Scout, encounters many conflicts with several different people that leads to her maturity. The novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird", by Harper Lee takes place in a little town in Alabama in the 1930's. A respected lawyer, Atticus Finch, is appointed to defend a black man, who is accused of rape. This results in many conflicts throughout the book and allows many of the children to mature. The author persuades to teach the reader that, "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" (Lee30). Following her father's advice, Scout learns to have empathy, compassion, and understanding from those different from her.

On the first day of school everyone goes to school to learn to be the best they can be, to stay out of trouble, to be on their best behavior; that is everyone but Scout. Many conflicts take place on the first day of school which lead to her understanding of race, skin and wealth are all equal. Everybody has had enough of her attitude including her teacher, Mrs. Caroline, who said "Jean Louise, I've had about enough of you this morning." (Lee21) On the first day of school, Jean goes through many struggles with the characters including with one of the Cunningham's, Walter. Walter comes from a poor family, as most of the people in Maycomb, and he does not have enough money for lunch one day. Being the blabber mouth Jean is, Jean tells her teacher Mrs. Caroline that Walter is just one of the Cunningham's. Being a new teacher at the school Mrs. Caroline hardly understands what she is talking about. After elaborating on Jean's behalf to Mrs. Caroline, it results to half a dozen smacks on Jean's hand. After beating up Walter, Jem, Scouts brother invites Walter to dinner with the Finches. When Walter pours syrup on everything they are eating, Scout lashes out on him and learns a very significant lesson from Calpurnia. "Don't matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house's yo' comp'ny, and don't you let me catch you remarkin' on their ways like you was so high and mighty! (Lee24) On the first day of school scout goes through much dilemma to help her understand people different from her.

He might not be able to play sports as well as any father in the county, not know the proper way to raise kids proper, he is Atticus Finch. Atticus no special from any other father, but in the way in teaching his children significant lessons in life is where he is similar to no other. He teaches scout that "If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks." Scout shows she learns from her father from this when she distracts Mr. Cunningham and the lynch mob from getting Tom by talking about his son Walter and trading. Not only did she save her life but her fathers and Toms as well. When everyone was talking about Atticus being a nigger lover, he explained to his children to cope with it, how to deal with it and understand it. As well as helping with social skills, he also teaches her racism and the lessons of life.

The book constantly refers to a mockingbird, a bird that is peaceful that never harmed anybody someone similar to Boo Radley. "Mr. Radley ran screaming into the street that Arthur was killing them all, but when the sheriff arrived he found Boo still sitting in the living room, cutting up the Tribune."(Lee11) This and many false avocations imply that Boo is a criminal, a psycho, and a maniac. He's not the crazy man everybody thinks he is. He does nothing wrong, but is out there to help people. He puts a blanket on Scout at the fire at Mrs. Maudies's house and the most important thing of all saves Scout's and Jem's lives. Scout learns from Boo at the end of book the lesson of innocence and patience.

Throughout the story running into an enormous amount of different people, learning lessons from those superior to her, Scout learns empathy, compassion and understanding for everyday life.