Essay on Kill A Mockingbird, By Harper Lee

Essay on Kill A Mockingbird, By Harper Lee

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The 1930s proves to be a fatal time of racism in the southern states of the US. Harper Lee knows first hand the discrimination and prejudice that the white society imposes on the African Americans as she lived in Alabama. In her novel, she documents how growing up in this type of environment can affect a person. Lee’s character, Scout Finch, begins her journey in blissful innocence. Over a two year span she encounters many circumstances that conclusively lead to her maturation. A few critics claim that the children in the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, do not show any development; however, the conflicting viewpoints of racism in Maycomb, Alabama, during the 1930s, send Scout Finch on a transformative journey.
The novel begins with Scout’s ordinary life; all she knows is Atticus’ lessons, Calpurnia’s discipline, and Jem’s guidance. Being an adolescent, Scout joins Jem and Dill and together they isolate themselves in their own imaginative worlds of play. Their summers “passed in routine contentment. Routine contentment was: improving [their] treehouse…, fussing, running through [their] list of dramas…” (Lee 8). They play games such as Boo Radley and irrationally depict the man as a rat-eating, murderous felon. Through Immanuel Kant’s theory, the children are perceiving their neighbor in this way because of a filter that has been set between them and the “noumenal world,” creating a “phenomenal world as conveyed by [their] senses” (Kant). This filter is the metaphoric barrier that keeps them isolated from seeing the reality of the world, leaving them vulnerable to their fate in the novel, and ensconcing their knowledge in a bubble of innocence. This innocence continues as Scout awaits for her first day of school. Up to this point, her...


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...f their neighbor’s yards gives her brief insight as to what he sees. This single instance marks Scout’s complete journey, preparing her for anything else that may challenge her.
Scout Finch demonstrates a drastic change as the novel progresses. The initial stage of a pure, naive girl who plays in her front yard with her brother and fiance greatly contrasts with the slightly older girl who can break up a lynch mob with just her words. The admirable traits that Scout expresses through each stage of her journey are what make her a hero, but she still has room to grow. As she becomes older she will allocate many more experiences much like what happened in her small town; however, “There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it” (Confucius). Scout’s innocence will always help her prevail through any troubles as seeing the good helps her overcome to evil.

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