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The Layers of Mrs. Dubose in To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

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The Layers of Mrs. Dubose in To Kill a Mockingbird

 
     Toothpaste: it is made up of so many different ingredients. You can look at a tube of toothpaste, study it, observe the colors of the plastic container and notice the size and shape of it. You can guess all you want what's on the inside, but you will never know until it is squeezed. People: they are made up of so many different things. You can look at them, study their behaviors, and observe their appearances. You can make many assumptions about what they're like on the inside, but you will never know their true character until they are squeezed. When a person is put in a tight position it doesn't make their character, it exposes it. In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird there are several characters that are present throughout the book, but one seems to appear out of nowhere in chapter eleven. Her name is Mrs. Dubose, and she has a very interesting character. It has several layers that almost need to be peeled away like an onion. Integrity is just one of the numerous layers of her character. Integrity is how a person reacts when they are being "squeezed." Mrs. Dubose has a high standard of morals and she is true to them--she walks her talk. She looks out for people other than herself. She is determined. Mrs. Dubose is unquestioningly a woman of integrity.

 

Mrs. Dubose displays integrity by standing up for her beliefs. She has self-appointed herself as the "manners police", according to the standards she was raised with. The way she was raised children were expected to respect their parents and other elders. Mrs. Dubose makes a point to call the kids on it whenever they are acting out of line according to her values. She yells at Scout t...


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...her life, a time that can be very lonely for a person. In a sense, she is being squeezed, like a tube of toothpaste--yet she stays strong. She still keeps all her values, instead of throwing them out the window. Mrs. Dubose doesn't just sit around and watch the world go on, she tries to make a difference. She doesn't throw herself a pity party, burdening others with her problems. Instead, she decides to make the most out of the time she has left in her life. She decides to improve her life so that she can die having lived life to the fullest. Mrs. Dubose, in all her integrity, is the tastiest kind of toothpaste there is.

 

Works Cited

Johnson, Claudia. "The Minor Charaters of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird." Studies in American Fiction (1991):129-139.

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York City, NY:  J.B.Lippincott Company, 1990.


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