Lessons In A Child?s Life Essay, Research Paper
Although most children dislike the trials and troubles connected with learning life lessons, they eventually realize the importance of such experiences as they grow and mature. The six-year old tomboy, Scout, of Harper Lee?s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, learns her life lessons while growing up in her Alabama home. Throughout the course of the novel, Scout not only learns life lessons from her father, but from her community members as well.
Atticus, in addition to being a father and a lawyer, is a teacher in that he teaches Scout, his daughter, many important lessons. Scout learns about many racism issues from her father. One occasion is when Atticus explains racism by saying, ??As you grow older, you?ll see white men cheat black man every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don?t you forget it- whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash??(223). Here, Atticus is describing the actions of Mr. Ewell. His lesson teaches Scout his morals, that everyone of every race should be treated the same. Another life lesson Atticus believes is to not prejudge others. He discusses this belief and says, ??You never really understand someone…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it??(34). This lesson is first taught when Scout complains about Miss Caroline. It is obviously a life lesson because Scout thinks about it at the end of the book regarding Boo Radley. She stands on his porch and finally understanding what Boo?s life is because she steps into his skin. An additional reoccurring lesson that Atticus teaches is the power of being brave and standing up for what?s right. When Scout tells him that a classmate is teasing her, he advises, ??…you just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don?t let ?em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change…??(80). Since the novel talks a lot about standing up for what?s right, this lesson of being courageous is important to Scout. Atticus also mentions how he tries to apply the lesson to his own life. By doing this, Atticus is shown to be an important figure and teacher in Scout?s life after all the lessons he teachers her. Scout definitely learns many life lessons from Atticus.
Scout also learns life lessons from her community members, Jem, Calpurnia, and Miss Maudie. Scout is innocent and naive when it comes to her society, so she often consults Jem. She learns life lessons from her brother as when Jem points out, ??If there?s just one kind of folks, why can?t they get along with each other? If they?re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other??? (230). Jem?s questioning of this subject is a lesson because it makes Scout realize the way her society members treat each other. Jem also teachers her the complexity of society and how people go out of their way to hurt each other even though they?re the same. Besides Jem teaching her, Scout?s wise cook, Calpurnia, teaches her many lessons. When Scout is embarrassing Walter Cunningham, Calpurnia scolds Scout, ??Don?t matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house?s yo? comp?ny, and don?t you let me catch you remarkin? on their ways like you was so high and mighty!??(29). Calpurnia teaches Scout this valuable lesson about the way people should treat others. This instance is one of the times Scout learns about prejudice and the way to prevent it. It is important for Scout to learn this because both her father and Calpurnia do not tolerate it. The third close friend of Scout?s who teaches her lessons is her neighbor Miss Maudie. When Scout wonders why Atticus doesn?t tell her that he is the deadest shot in Maycomb County, Miss Maudie explains, ??People in their right minds never take pride in their talents??(102). Miss Maudie is teaching Scout a lesson about the way people should act. Scout learns that people who are like her father show respectfulness by being modest. This is an important lesson because Scout will clearly need it to fulfill her dream to become a lady, well mannered and modest. Scout learns Jem, Calpurnia, and Miss Maudie, and she thinks about the lessons they all teach later in the book. All three of them are wise and help Scout and learn.
How a person grows up is determined by the life lessons he/she learns. Scout Finch will obviously grow up to be a respectful adult because of all the life lessons her father and her friends teach her. Harper Lee teaches readers that life lessons shape the mind and souls of individuals regardless of specific teachers. In Scout?s life, the teachers are not only her father, but also her community members as well.