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"To Kill A Mocking Bird" By Harper Lee

1703 words - 7 pages

Prejudice Through A Child's EyesChildren are the keepers of all that is good and innocent. If they came into this world with the experiences and mindset that most adults have, the world would not be the same as it is. In the classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, the main characters show many moments of innocence. Growing up in a small Alabama town, during the nineteen-thirties, these three children have adventures which help them overcome the prejudices surrounding them. Due to their lack of knowledge of the world, children, growing up around these prejudices, can still see the world in a different light, still be innocent.Charles Baker Harris, commonly known as Dill, is at a ...view middle of the document...

The biggest lesson on racism for Dill came after he had to exit the courtroom for crying. Talking to Scout, he expresses his feelings about how Tom Robinson was treated.The way that man called him 'boy' all the time an' sneered at him, an' looked around at the jury every time he answered -Well, Dill, after all he's just a Negro.I don't care one speck. It ain't right, somehow it ain't right to do 'em that way. Hasn't anybody got any business talkin' like that - it just makes me sick. (199)This quote shows how Dill is learning the concept of racism. He still does not know why it happens but he does have a valid point. No one should be treated differently due to race, and in his mind he knows this. His conscience tells him that racism is wrong, but he does not know how or what to do to change the way people act. Dill does try to understand these ways of life, but since he does not know enough about the lifestyles of people, he cannot do anything to change the prejudices people put on others.Jem, being older than Dill and Scout, knows more of the world of adults than they do. He understands more, yet he still does not fully grasp everything that his father and other responsible adults do.I sometimes wondered exactly what made Jem do it, what made him break the bonds of 'You be a gentleman, son,' ... Jem had probably stood as much guff about Atticus lawing for (blacks) as had I... Jem snatched my baton and ran flailing wildly up the stairs into Mrs. Dubose's front yard...he did not being to calm down until he had cut the tops off every camellia bush Mrs. Dubose owned. (107)Jem, forgetting every thing that Atticus had ever told him about holding his head up high and not being affected by other people's words and actions, lost control and took his anger out on Mrs. Dubose's camellia bushes. He did not realize that Mrs. Dubose was acting like every other person in Maycomb, prejudiced against black people and their acquaintances. Jem felt he had to step in and defend his father's honor, instead of letting his father work out his own conflict. When Atticus mentioned that Mrs. Dubose died, a discussion occurred between Jem and him.You know, she was a great lady.A lady? Jem raised his head. His face was scarlet, After all those things she said about you, a lady? (116)The reason Mrs. Dubose acted the way she did to the Finches is simple; she was old and senile, and had no one to talk to. All she did everyday was sit on her porch and snap at everyone who walked past her house. Jem thought that Mrs. Dubose would yell just because she had something against him, his sister, and Atticus. Mrs. Dubose was stubborn and cruel, but still a lady. Jem had never known anyone like Mrs. Dubose, and he did not realize the reason she acted the way she did. Although he was not learned in the subjects of justice and racism, Jem comes to conclusions based on teachings from Atticus' court appearances and speeches.I mean, before a man is sentenced to death for murder, say, there...

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