Ashley Choi Mr. Zameroski Honors English 2 1 November 2011 To Kill A Mockingbird Essay A mother of a gay student that faced bullying stated in an article, that anyone who has “‘’hate in their hearts’” should accept people with differences because they are “‘going to be who they are’” (James, Boy Assaults Gay Student as Cellphone Captures Attack). In a perfect society, everyone would accept each other and not judge others based on appearance or social status.
However, today many people still face the problem of acceptance.Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, illustrates how others can learn to be accepting from the characters in the novel. Scout leaves her naive childhood behind and changes to into an accepting young adult through with the help of Boo Radley, Tom Robinson, and Atticus. One of the characters in To Kill A Mockingbird that helps Scout to become an accepting young adult is Boo Radley. At the beginning of the novel, Scout believes the vicious rumors about Boo Radley such as his “‘din[ing] on raw squirrels and any cats he [can] catch’” (Lee 55). eighborhood’s rumors that Boo Radley is a vicious and scary monster, when Jem is describing Boo’s appearance to Dill.
He explains that Boo Radley’s physical appearance is six and a half feet tall, yellow and rotten teeth, popping eyes, and “‘a long jagged scar that [runs] across his face’” (Lee 13). Also, the children believe that Boo “‘dine[s] on raw squirrels and any cats he [can] catch’” (Lee 13). Scout imagines hearing “[scratching] feet on gravel [which is] Boo Radley seeking revenge” and his “insane fingers picking the wire to pieces” (Lee 55).Boo Radley’s reputation in the neighborhood of Maycomb is a horrible one, and Scout at first, believes the rumors even though she has never met Boo Radley; she fears him because she never met Boo and does not know him personally. However later on, Scout begins to learn little bits of facts about Boo Radley, after receiving surprises from him. One afternoon, Scout and Jem walk home after school, and they find “rest[ing] [on the Radley tree] a ball of gray twine” a present from Boo Radley (Lee 58).
Then in October, Scout and Jem find “two small images carved in soap” and realize that the carvings were of themselvesdepicted Scout and Jem (Lee 59). As she receives the gifts, she realizes little by little, that she is wrong about Boo and misunderstood him completely. What she thought was a massive and intimidating monster was really a gentle and shy man who wanted to be friends with Scout. Her experience with Boo allows her to understand that rumors can be completely off from the truth, and learns to accept Boo Radley even though her society believes that he’s a monster and looks down on him.
When Scout receives these gifts, she realizes that the rumors about Boo Radley aren’t are not true at all; she learns that Boo Radley is actually a caring and kind person. Scout begins to see Boo Radley as a human and starts to trust him. Scout becomes more mature because she begins to see Boo Radley as a person. Scout asks “‘Mr. Arthur’” if he wants “‘to say good night to Jem’” (Lee 277). Scout stops calling him Boo, and now calls him by his name which shows that she becomes more accepting.
Scout’s trust for Boo is shown when they both enter Jem’s room. She “takes him by the hand, a hand surpirsely warm” and guides him to Jem’s bed (Lee 277). Another scene that displays her trust is when Scout “slips [her] hand into the crook of [Boo’s] arm” and escorts him back to his home (Lee 278). Scout no longer sees him as a monster and is willing to trust him.
Because of Boo, Scout has learned to give others a second chance. Towards the end of the novel, Scout explains The Gray Ghost to Atticus before going to bed.She explains that in the story, the character “‘[chases] him 'n' never…catch[es] him’” and when they find him, they realize that “‘he [did not do] any of those things…[and] was real nice” (Lee 281). Atticus responds that when “you finally see them” many people are not what they are expected to be (Lee 281). When Scout explains the book The Gray Ghost, it relates to her relationship with Boo Radley. Similar to the story, Scout finds out that Boo is actually a generous and friendly individual.
In the end, Scout changes to be an accepting person from because of ArthurBoo Radley.She learns not to judge Boo, by having the courage to go against the society that discriminates people who are different. Once she spends time with Boo, develops empathy for him, and focuses on what they have in common, then she begins to understand and accept him. Through Boo Radley, Scout becomes an accepting person by learning to not to judge someone just based on rumors that have a high probability of being wrong. Another character that helps Scout to become accepting is Tom Robinson. He teaches Scout how pervasive racism is and the mportance of fighting it.
When Tom Robinson gets shot by trying to escape, Scout begins to experience for the first time, how strong racism and prejudice is between whites and blacks. After reading Mr. Underwood’s article, she realizes that Tom Robinson is a “dead man” once Mayella Ewell “open[s] her mouth and scream[s]” (Lee 241). Society is so unjust; Tom is stuck in a situation, where it is impossible for him to win the case, since a black man’s word will never be more respected than a white woman’s.After the trial, Scout is more aware of the need to treat all races equally.
One day after Scout and Jem visits Calpurnia’s church, Scout asks if she can “‘come see [Calpurnia] sometime’” (Lee 126). Scout no longer sees Calpurnia as a black servant, but as a human being worthy of respect and friendship. Atticus tries everything he can to win Tom’s case, “but in the secret courts of men’s hearts” no matter what he does, Atticus can not make courthouse change their belief, that blacks can never be considered as equals (Lee 241).Scout learns that Tom’s only chance for justice is not a public trial in court where the facts can be examined, but a trial in men’s hearts where people’s prejudice can be challenged. At the trial, Scout listens to Tom’s defense of him raping Mayella Ewell.
Scout doesn’t fully understand at first, so Atticus later explains that Tom would never “strike a white woman…and expect to live long,” so he reacts by running “a sure sign of guilt” (Lee 195). In his testimony, Tom explains that the situation was not “‘safe for any nigger’” and that his situation is impossible, leaving him no way to respond (Lee 198).Mayella’s behavior breaks the view of acceptable relationship between blacks and whites, when she uses Tom to fill up her loneliness. This is one of the first time times Scout truly experiences the harsh criticism that the blacks face in her society. Her world of innocence comes crashing down, after the trial as she experiences Tom’s the harsh prejudice Tom Robinson faces, simply because of the color of his skin. She notices that society is not kind to people who are different.
Unlike the society’s prejudice against blacks, Scout learns from this experience and begins to look at blacks and whites equally.One day, Miss Gates, Scout’s teacher explains the discrimination that Jews’ faced because of Hitler. She further explains that the United States is a democracy and agrees with Scout when she says that democracy is equality between everyone and “special privileges for none” and also explains that in Maycomb they do not “‘believe in persecuting anybody’” (Lee 245). Yet, later on, Scout realizes that Miss Gates was a hypocrite because she talks about how bad the prejudice in Germany was when she “‘turn[s] around and [is] ugly about folks right at home’” (Lee 247).Scout learns to be accepting and knows that it is “‘not right to persecute anybody’” (Lee 247). Tom would not have to face this no-win situation if the society could change and have an acceptable behavior for whites and blacks.
Even though the African Americans are considered “equal” legally, prejudice still remains as a thick wall between blacks and whites. Tom Robinson helps Scout to realize the importance of prejudice that and this helps her to become an accepting person. Atticus is another character in To Kill A Mockingbird who also leads Scout to be an accepting young adult.Scout applies this lesson through her encounter with Mrs.
Dubose, Scout sees beyond the appearances of the woman as just some crabby old neighbor. After Scout’s first day of school, her relationship with her teacher Miss Caroline starts off badly. She explains to Atticus that she did not feel well and tries to persuade him by saying that she “did not think that [she] could go to school anymore” (Lee 29). Scout tells Atticus that Miss Caroline told her to tell Atticus to stop teaching her and not to have their reading sessions anymore.Atticus wisely responds tells Scout could get alongunderstand better with others better if “[she] climb[s] into [their] skin and walk around it” (Lee 30).
By accompanying Jem on his “punishment” of reading to Mrs. Dubose, Scout understands the true source of her neighbor's “crabbiness”—a valiant effort to overcome the morphine addiction that has masked her pain yet held her captive. Through Atticus’s revelation of Mrs. Dubose's pain, Scout begins to see her as a woman who is suffering now so that she can die with no regrets, no bondage, and with all the dignity of a noble character.
She then realizes that if she was in Miss Caroline’s position it would have been an honest mistake, since Miss Caroline is new and does not know much about Maycomb; she begins learn to be an accepting person by not judging Miss Caroline. Another way Atticus helps Scout to be accepting is when Atticus gets spit on the face by Bob Ewell. Instead of fighting back, Atticus accepts the fact that Bob Ewell spit on him so he could “get [back at] him [even] if it [takes] the rest of his life” (Lee 217).After being asked why Atticus didn’t did not fight back, he answers by telling the children to take a moment and “‘stand in Bob Ewell’s shoes for a minute’” (Lee 218). and that Ssince Atticus crushes Mr.
Ewell’s pride, he wants revenge, and Atticus tells the children that he “‘[would] rather it be me than that houseful of children’” for Mr. Ewell to take out his anger out on (Lee 218). From From Atticus’ sacrifice of putting down his pride for the Ewells, children, Scout learns that sacrifices are hard to make, but have to be made for the sake of others.Scout and Jem talk about the different types of people in Maycomb. Jem believes the world has “four kinds of folks;” which are divided into the kinds like them, the Cunninghams, the Ewells, and the blacks (Lee 226). Scout disagree with this, and says that the world has “just one kind of folks.
Folks. ” (Lee 227). In the end, Scout learns that the world is not separated into groups, but instead, everyone is the same, no matter their race, wealth, or social status. Atticus makes Scout to be an accepting young lady.
Boo Radley, Tom Robinson, and Atticus contribute to making Scout into an accepting young adult.At the beginning of the story, Scout is an immature child who does not understand the true meaning of accepting others, because she focuses only on outer appearance and their reputations. She learns to take the time to reflect on her actions and think in others’ point of view. The lessons of empathy and tolerance Scout learns apply to today’s youth as well.
Teenagers face bullying even in today’s society; an Ohio high school student assaulted a fifteen year old student, “‘just because he was homosexual’” (James, Boy Assaults Gay Student as Cellphone Captures Attack).Instead of helping the student, others just watched the scene take place. This is not the only type of harassment that takes place, almost “sixty-one percent of the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] students” face bullying through texts, posts, or emails (James, Boy Assaults Gay Student as Cellphone Captures Attack). This abuse should be put to a stop immediately. Instead, people should imitate Scout and focus on what unites them rather than what divides them, and learn to accept one another.
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