Examples Of Ignorance In To Kill A Mockingbird

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We are born ignorant, with no knowledge, for a reason. We need to earn it; we need to experience it. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a novel based around a 6 year-old girl named Scout. It takes place in the 1930’s right in the middle of the Great Depression. In the book, Scout turns from an inexperienced child to a mature young lady. She is exposed to many events that help shape her view of society. Using To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee conveys that the three basic levels of the ignorance we have regarding the world around us; complete ignorance, half ignorance, and no ignorance are directly distinguished by the amount of experience we have, rather than age.
Complete ignorance often occurs at young age and is often now believed to be the determining factor of ignorance. However, age isn’t the real factor that determines ignorance, it is a lack of experience that makes us ignorant. At the beginning of the book, Scout is completely unfamiliar with racism. She describes Calpurnia to be “something else” (8) and that “she was all angles and bones …” (8) and “her hand was wide as a bed slat and twice as hard” (8). Not once was Calpurnia mentioned to be black or of a different race. To Scout, she is just another human being. Scout judged her from her personality and bases her perceptions of Calpurnia solely on that. She may be young, however, it is Scout’s lack of experience of the concept of race and racism that makes her uneducated in this whole topic. Scout can
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