Important Life Lessons in "To Kill a Mockingbird" Novel
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a novel that teaches us about discrimination, both racist, religious and sexist. To some, this may be a disagreeable novel to read in high schools, but in fact, this novel teaches students historical content and the development throughout worldwide history, it teaches students new lessons for their everyday life, and it teaches the importance of innocent, therefore should be taught in schools.
In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee the historical content is key, as it teaches students about the problems in the past and how the problems have changed over time. In the past, there was strong racial, sexist, and religious discrimination that is taught to students throughout this book. For example, in the novel, Scout, Jem, and Dill experience their first time watching Atticus at court where there is a lot of racial discrimination leading to Tom Robinson being pronounced guilty of the rape. Atticus explained that “In our courts, when it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins. They’re ugly, but those are the facts of life”. He states that those are the “facts of life”, which means racism is an occurring event in their society. This can teach students that their society today evolved from the past tremendously because now any color of skin has the right to speak freely. As well, in the novel, Scout gets left out of certain discussions as she is too young, causing age discrimination against her. For example, in court, Reverend Sykes believes that Scout should go home, but Jem reassured him that “she doesn’t understand it… she ain’t nine yet”. Although Scout disagrees with Jem's statement about her and she guarantees that she does understand, Jem assures Reverend that she will be fine as will he. This all shows how time has changed because now there is little racial discrimination and people now understand if it’s okay for a certain person of age should be in a certain position based on their intelligence.
There are a lot of life lessons that are taught throughout To Kill a Mockingbird. One of the major life lessons that were spread throughout the entire book was, never to judge a book by its cover. Jem, Scout, and Dill all needed to learn this from their stories about Boo Radley. For example, they immediately thought Boo was a scary, mean, dreadful man who never left his house, but to their surprise, there are many signs of him being a very nice man. This is shown when Jem left his pants at the Radley's house and when he returned to get them they were “... folded across the fence… they’d been sewed up” (Lee 78), this made Jem and Scout believe that it was Boo Radley. As well, after Ms. Maudie's house went up in flames Atticus asks Scout about the mysterious blanket around her shoulders, she had no idea what he was talking about but to her surprise, there was a blanket around her. Then Atticus reassured her that she was “... so busy looking at the fire [she] didn’t know it when [Boo Radley] put the blanket around [her]”. This shows two signs of Boo Radley being a nice man to the kids when they thought he was a creepy mean man. Another important life lesson that was taught was to fight with your head, not your fists. This is taught to scout when Atticus pleaded with her to stop fighting violently and to use her words after she got in a fight, this is because adding more violence to violence just makes things worse; two wrongs don’t make a right, and she should use her head more to get out of these situations. Also, by doing this it will show the person that it doesn’t bother you as they are only looking for a reaction. These life lessons can help students in their everyday life to achieve higher successes and to become a better version of themselves.
The importance of innocence is key for children, it helps them grow to be their own person without society forming them into the person they don’t want to be. During Tom Robinson’s trial, their innocence is tested, as they are watching they learn that people are not judged by the importance or quality of their statements and evidence but are thoroughly judged by the color of their skin ( ). In the novel, Tom Robinson states that Mayella jumped on him and kissed him, to Jem and Scout this wasn’t a huge problem, but Atticus continues to say 'She was white, and she tempted a Negro. She did something that in our society is unspeakable: she kissed a black man. Not an old Uncle, but a strong young Negro man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterward.' This is a huge loss of innocence as the kids have been confronted with racial injustice, and they realize this is not the only time social biased morality has occurred. This specific loss of innocents has made Jem and Scout more vulnerable to their society which has impacted a portion of their summer. Continuing, Maycomb county began to declare that Atticus is a “[Negro]-lovin’ bastard” when he was defending a black man in court. It didn’t take long before Scout hears her classmates say unpleasant things about Atticus as well, but she doesn’t fully understand the problem, this is because Atticus has preserved Scout’s innocents by raising her to understand there is nothing wrong with defending a black man. Atticus continues to explain to Scout that she is too young to understand prejudice and injustice but it’s not a bad thing to do what he's doing for Tom, as some people think otherwise.
Finally, the importance of innocents is huge for Jem and Scout as it has affected their everyday life in many different ways, no matter how long Atticus tries to preserve their innocents, society will always affect them and form them to be mature adults.
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