Harper Lee’s book To Kill a Mockingbird easily points out that adolescents can learn life lessons outside their schooling by observing other people within their lives. From beginning to the end the book evolves the two main children, Jem and Scout, from rambunctious children to young adolescents that have more understanding of the world. The children learn that life isn’t always good and doesn’t treat everyone fair. Courage is hard for children to understand. Crushing Mrs. Debose’s flowers through anger Jem learns Newton’s third law related to his life. The law states that with every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. With Jem’s crime came the punishment of reading to Mrs. Dubose and listening to her wretched comments of slandering the Finch family. After Mrs. Deboses death Jem learned that she had great courage by fighting her addiction. He asks Atticus, “Did she die free?” and Atticus responds, “As the mountain air”(page 111). This quote educates Jem that dying how you wish to die is possible. Even though Tom Robinson didn’t rape Mayella Ewell Atticus still expressed pride and courage by defending him in court. He put his family’s lives in danger, but still did what he believed was correct even his society didn’t agree. When you don’t completely understand the social world sometimes guidance from adults is needed. Scout got into many fights throughout her school career with family and friends. After her fight with Francis during Christmas Scout tells Uncle Jack what Francis had said to her in this quote, “A nigger-lover. I ain’t very sure what it means, but the way Francis said it- tell you one thing right now, Uncle Jack, I’ll be- I swear before God if I’ll sit and let him say something about Atticus”(page 86) Here is a prime example that Jean Louise doesn’t understand the adult context of what a “nigger lover” is but still can identify how it is used. Following the Cunningham fight Scout realizes that everyone doesn’t live the same once Atticus gives her this knowledge. With the aid of Atticus and Miss Maudie Scout had conversations that broadened her knowledge of the social world of Maycomb. Gender greatly defines how a human should act at home, school, and in public. Calpurnia spent time trying to attempt to teach Scout to be a young lady but she knew she should also let her be herself. When Aunt Alexandra moved it she disapproved of all Scout’s actions. Being a fellow girl to Mayella Ewell Scout felt sympathy for her being lonely with no friends unlike Jem and Dill. Scout says this quote that leads into her sympathy “I wonder if anybody had ever called her “ma’am” or “Miss Mayella” in her life; probably not, as she took offence to routine courtesy. What on earth was her life like? I soon found out”(page 182) Following Tom Robinson’s death Aunt Alexandra, Scout, and Miss Maudie must pull themselves together and be proper ladies. Scout expresses, “If Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I” (page 237) Within the ink covered pages of To Kill a Mockingbird young characters learn life lessons from peers. It is a book that is well known by all, young and old. The life lessons of society can be taught to anyone while reading this book. Even if the issues like prejudice were in the 1930’s children still see with their delicate eyes everyday today. Lesson’s that were taught to Scout within the text can be taught to children and adults and become a lifelong lesson of society.
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