To Kill a Mockingbird
Uploaded by CheerChica923 on Jun 13, 2006
Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird, published in the year of 1960, is the American classic novel awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction as well as the Brotherhood Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. The racism which is prevalent in many small American towns in the 1930s is illustrated with profound imagery in To Kill a Mockingbird. Although there are several characters in the book, the true main character is the young narrator's father, Atticus Finch, a man of great integrity and intelligence. He is a very heroic figure in more ways than one. Atticus possesses such traits as being principled, determined, and what's more, he's a teacher to others. By looking at To Kill a Mockingbird, one can see that Lee utilizes physical description, dialogue, and actions to characterize Atticus as a heroic individual; this is important because Atticus is a very serene, but spirited man.
The most important legacy Atticus teaches in To Kill a Mockingbird is the message about how best to educate a child. From the beginning of the book, it's obvious that Atticus' life is down in luck. "It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyways and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do"(124). He strives to instill in Scout and Jem three specific values: spirit, bravery and tolerance of others. Atticus tries to clarify the disposition that's shown in the book by saying that it's important to appreciate the good qualities in people and comprehend the bad qualities by treating others with compassion or trying to see life from their standpoints. "If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--until you climb into his skin and walk around in it" (30). He teaches this life lesson to show that it's possible to live with principles without losing sight of hope or acting skeptical. For example, Atticus is able to highly regard Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose's courage even though he disapproves of Mrs. Dubose's continuous acts of racism. "She had her own views about things, a lot different from mine, maybe...son, I told you that if you hadn't lost your head I'd have made you go read to her. I wanted you to...