To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Learning and Personal Growth

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Learning and Personal Growth in To Kill a Mockingbird Conflict is an inevitable part of life. In many cases, these conflicts are between two individuals debating over one specific subject. It is often hard to declare a winner when both people consider their argument to be the correct one. Scout and Jem learn the tools necessary to overcome conflict through personal experience as well as the experiences of other characters in the novel. As a person grows older, conflicts in life become a more regular and more real occurrence. Through experience, knowledge, and bravery any situation can be controlled and overcome as seen in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. As life goes on, a child gains a great deal of experience through her own doings and those of others. With each new situation, this child is able to better carry his or her way through life. Scout grows up in a small Alabama town, and she contains herself between two houses in her neighborhood: Mrs. Dubose's house (2 doors north) and the Radley place (3 doors south). She and her young playmates start off as clean slates, so they act out other people's experiences to compensate for the lack of their own. "He (Dill, an out of town friend) played the character parts normally thrust upon me--the ape in Tarzan, Mr. Crabtree in The Rover Boys, Mr. Damon in Tom Swift" (Lee 8). This game playing becomes the first sign in the novel that Scout is ready to enter the world of the adult. Scout's first learning experience away from home is at school. "I never deliberately learned to read, but somehow I had been wallowing illicitly in the daily papers,..., reading was something that just came to me" (Lee 17). She is a smart child and has no trouble with the educational learning involved with school, but for the first time, she experiences conflict through the differences in her classmates. As Scout grows older she becomes more curious. She even go so far as to enter the world of the Negro and to go to church with Calpurnia. "First Purchase African M.E. Church was in the quarters outside the southern town limits" (Lee 118). Calpurnia's church is a long way from their original neighborhood barriers, but thanks to Scout's new experience, she will not contain the prejudices held by many of the white townspeople.

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