To Kill a Mockingbird- Key Themes

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Growing up, Scout:

To Kill a Mockingbird shows Scout's growing awareness of the world around her. The story is told by a mature narrator who is looking back at the past - the novel is a flashback and we are given an useful view of Scout's hindsight. Scout's naivety is highlighted when the reader understands events better than she does. 
Over the course of the novel, Scout learns various lessons:

  • From Calpurnia: politeness should be shown to all people
  • From Atticus: to be tolerant, to react calmly to events -'Atticus had promised me he would wear me out if he ever heard of me fighting anymore.. the sooner i learned to hold in, the better off everybody would be'-, to be able to turn the other cheek, to appreciate different kinds of courage - 'I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand' 
  • Aunt Alexandra how to be a lady - 'Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if i wore breeches'
  • Atticus and Heck Tate also teach Scout about society's prejudice and the implications of this, even if Scout has not yet been able to identify why prejudice exists. 

By the end of the novel, Scout shows signs of understanding Atticus' lesson about viewing a situation from other's perspective - 'Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley Porch was enough' . However, the reader is able to see that Scout is still a child by the fact she is reading 'The Grey Ghost' , a book she was reading at the beginning of the book. She feels she has learnt all she can for the moment. 

Growing up - Jem

At the start of…

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