Wednesday, March 7, 2012

to kill a mockingbird

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To Kill A Mockingbird essay

You do not really understand someone until you have walked in his/her shoes

- Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

Cheap University Papers on to kill a mockingbird

Throughout the novel this statement can be applied again and again in many

situations. It is almost directly related to the theme, destruction of innocence causes

emotional and physical pain. This destruction of innocence can be directly appied to

Scout, the naïve narrator. Not only that but she is also a dynamic character. These

changes can be seen scattered through the book, and are caused by happenings in

this town, and by the advice and help from Atticus, her father. In literary terms Atticus

is known as a god teacher. Atticus role as a god teacher directly affects the growth of

Scout, and uses thematic examples to do so.

Atticus is one fine example of a god teacher. A god teacher is a figure in literature

who reflects societys greatest desire for itself. A god teacher also has certain

characteristics, many of which are can be shown by examples from the book. One

characteristic is that a god teacher is generous. Atticus shows this early in the book when

he accepts the food from Mr. Cunningham, instead of money. Atticus realizes that Mr.

Cunningham would not be able pay him with money, and this is even before he takes the

case, because everyone knows that the Cunninghams did not have money. Atticus would

of accepted even less, and would of have taken the case for free, because he knew that

the Cunninghams were in a hard time. Another characteristic of a god teacher is that they

point civilization toward the future.

Since this book based in the 10s, future can be considered the equality

movement of the 160s and 70s. In a southern town in that time blacks were seen as a

totally different, lower class of people.Very few people, if any supported the black

people. But without thinking Atticus is ready to defend Tom Robinson, a hard-working,

respectful, black man, who is accused of raping a white woman. Atticus knows Tom

Robinson is innocent, but almost no matter what will be sentenced guilty. But this does

not matter to Atticus, and provides a fool proof case, which would have been victorious

if the jury was not racist.

Another characteristic shown by god teachers is that they transmit devine powers

of civility and survival to a human level. Two cases in which he shows these powers are

when he shoots Tim Johnson, and when he stood in front of the jail door, to protect Tom

Robinson from lynching. Whatever needs to be done, either to protect civility, like the

mob at the jail incident, of to help survival, like shooting the rabid Tim Johnson, it seems

like Atticus can do it. He provides the necessary sanity, skill, and intelligence at almost

any needed time. Probably the most important virtue of a god teacher is that he/she shows

a model for human behavior. There are many an example of this in the novel, but the one

that stands out the most is when Bob Ewell spits in Atticus face. Almost anyone,

including myself would have punched the drunken animal in the face until he was

bloody. But Atticus was more humane, and had the self-control to walk away. As a

god teacher Atticus tried to move the community as a whole toward a better, more

respectful time.

This novel is a perfect example of bildungsroman. That is, a genre of a novel

about the building of a character. Scout, as the main character, is the character that is

being built. She is a dynamic character, one who, over the course of the events of the

novel experiences change or growth physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually

because of those events. She experiences changes all throughout the book, and some

can gradually be seen. In the beginning of the book Scout has severe trouble controlling

her temper. She beats up her cousin for calling her and Atticus names, and roughs up

Walter Cunningham when she got herself in trouble when she talked about him. As the

book progresses, she gets in less and less fights. By the last part of the book she can

control her temper almost as well as Atticus.

Another incident of her growth is concerning Boo. In the first part of the book

Boo was seen as an almost mythical creature. They played games about him, told crazy

stories, and was frightened of him. Even going up to his front steps was a dare that was

only to be done by Jem. As the book progresses Scout sees Boo more and more as a

person, Mr. Arthur Radley. During the fire she sees his more humane side when he

brings her a blanket to keepher warm. Also, she saw his nicer sice with the gifts in the

tree. He gave them whatseems to be his more valuable possesions, and items he made

that required skill. Then they see the love in him, when he saves them from Bobby Ewell,

and might have killed him. At that time, Scout finally meets Arthur, and all of a sudden

forgets the scary stories, games, and being scared. She realized Arthur is a nice person,

and just wants to be left alone.

Also, Scout gradually learns to accept people more. When she first meets

Miss Caroline she is angry at her for not knowing the ins and outs of Maycomb. Later

she realizes that Miss Caroline could not learn everything about Maycomb in and

started to accept her. In the beginning of the book she thought that Calpurnia only

picked on her, and not Jem. She started to realize that Calpurnia was being strict to

help her, not just to be mean. She understands Calpurnias methods and ways.

Scout is also the narrator, and is a naïve one at that. A naïve narrator is a

narrator that has a simple understanding of life. She doesnt always realize the bigger

picture, or total story. The Mrs. Duboise conflict is an example of this. Scout thinks

that the reason she has to read to Mrs. Duboise is that it is a punishment for Jems

behavior. She sits in the Duboise house for over a month thinking this. Then after

their supposed punishment was over and Mrs. Duboise was dead, the whole story

was found when Atticus explained Mrs. Duboises drug problem. Another example

of this naïve story telling is during Atticus trial. Scout realizes Atticus defense as a

good one, and thinks he has a really good chance. But she is not prepared for him

to lose, and when he does she loses it. She does not realize what caused Atticus to

lose, and cried about it. She did not understand the process of appeals, and I

am guessing neither did Tom Robinson. Atticus knew he was not going to win, as

the county jury were all racist, but Scout could not realize that.

Atticus was the main reason that Scout changed so much. He influenced her

enough, but not too much, as to dominate her life. He helped her control her temper,

but he did it kind enough, and not too kind. He had gained enough respect that just

by telling her to keep her cool she would. She would not fight to keep Atticus happy,

which is an honor not many parents can gain, respect. Not only did he tell her to keep

her temper under control, but he set a good example. During the trial he kept calm,

from beginning to end, from when Bob Ewell spit in his face, to when the decision was

read. He also showed Scout another thing at the trial, to be content with the best

possible. She showed this learned lesson at the meeting with her Aunt Alexandria. She

tried to be nice and wear a dress for her aunt, and could only do it to a certain point.

She knew that and acted like a lady as best she could.

Atticus also let Scout understand things herself. He let her figure things out

herself, like with Mrs. Duboise. Atticus knew what was happening, but let Jem and

Scout try to find out themselves. Same thing with Arthur Radley, he knew Arthur the

whole time, but let Jem and Scout find out themselves, when he saved thier lives.

Probably the most important lesson taught by Atticus was acceptence of all people.

In a time of hatred and racism, Atticus taught his children to accept all people, and

applied this to his life, by defending Tom Robinson.

Atticus role as a god teacher directly affects the growth of Scout, and uses

thematic examples to do so. Some people want to believe that they make thier own

decisions. But the truth is that people are influenced, for the bad and good. Scout

should be envied, having the privaledge to be influence by Atticus.

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