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To Kill a Mockingbird

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Essay title: To Kill a Mockingbird

As readers, we saw Scout mature and grow as our narrator and as a person. She learned many things, but also lost many things. As she grew up and changed, she began to see how things really were, and gained the knowledge of the pure hate that one man can show another. Scout lost her innocence when she found this out. She began to see how cruel the world could be to someone who is a little different or strange. She saw this in the prejudice that was shown to Tom Robinson, Walter Cunningham, Miss Maudie and even herself.

She gained the wisdom of the world outside her back door and began to see how society works, (it is very cruel and cynical). Although this may not have been a good thing, she could now see how unimportant it was. Atticus taught Jem and Scout to be polite, caring kids. He instilled in them a great sense of love for their neighbor and told them things that would help them get on in life. Scout was very lucky to have someone to guide her along the way. Although she was faced with "the real world", she had lots of people who would willingly explain to her and guide her.

Scout really matured during the course of this book. She went from a six-year-old child with no knowledge of the real world to a ten year old who had a lot of life's most important lessons shown to her at a very young age. She had to learn, very quickly, that life would not always be easy and fun. She learned of the horrible ways men can treat other men and of the ugliness of station, poverty and hate.

The author, Harper Lee, picked an interesting person to narrate the story. This had some advantages and disadvantages as the story progressed. This writing technique is a very versatile one. When the author uses Scout as the first person, she opens the reader's eyes to the way children think and act. She also offers a fair opinion of the affairs of Maycomb, and doesn't dwell on adult matters and make it boring. Some disadvantages of picking Scout for the first person viewpoint were that even though she was smart, she didn't really understand what all the fuss was about. She was too innocent and young to really grasp the point sometimes and tell the reader, about it. The author did an excellent job of making the story somewhat easy to understand and fun to read. By picking a child to tell the story, it was easier to read between the lines and find the real meaning of what was being said.

"It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. Mrs. Dubose won, all ninety-eight pounds of her. According to her views, she died beholden to nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person I ever knew."

This touching paragraph speaks about the meaning of courage. There were many people who showed different kinds of courage. Atticus was probably one of the bravest people in the story. He stood up for a black man who was going against a white man in court. A lot of people disagreed with him, and some went so far as to spit in his face. But he pressed on against all odds. Mrs. Dubose was very brave also. She overcame her morphine addiction so that she could be free from earth when she died. She was so determined to do it. She had beaten all the odds to overcome her addition. Boo Radley was also brave. He risked his own life to save two children that he barely knew. He could have run for the sheriff or gotten Atticus, but he got into the thick of things and he killed a man to save another. He also faced so much gossip and persecution because of his home life and the way he chose to live. He could have come out any time he wanted to but he didn't, and because he didn't, he suffered for it.

So many characters in this book were brave in their own special way as well. Mr. Cunningham was brave, because even though he was very poor, he took no charity and tried very hard to pay off all his debts with goods, if not with money. In a strange way, the Ewells showed courage also. If not admirable courage, it was still a form of courage. Getting up in court and lying to save their honor (or what they thought was honor) was not a wise thing to do. Harper Lee made sure that every single character was defined and stable. She made each one real as our parents, while still remembering they were characters in a book. Courage is a wonderful thing, and Lee did a great job of showing real courage.

We then begin to hear about how Tom Robinson, a black man, has been accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a white woman, and how everyone is saying that Atticus defends Negroes. The plot then goes on to explain about the trial and what happens afterwards, but we don't hear about Boo Radley until Halloween. When the kids are attacked, that is when the two plots combine. Boo Radley fights Mr. Ewell and carries Jem home. Scout figures

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