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Rationality In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Though many people think that emotion helps make rational resolutions, often times it hurts one’s ability to do so. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Scout, the protagonist, and her family discover the need for logic when her father takes an important court case. Sadly, most of the people of Maycomb in the 1930s became corrupt because they do not use rationality in their lives. Throughout the novel, Scout and the reader both learn that one should not let their emotions rule their reason when making decisions. Even before the court case began, Scout learns about the recurring theme of logic being more effective than her feelings when forming opinions of others and in communicating. For example, when Mrs. Maudie spoke with Scout about…show more content…
In the case that Atticus was defending, Tom Robinson, a black man, was accused for raping Mayella Ewell, a white woman. When speaking to Atticus about the court case, Jem states that there should have been more evidence before deciding whether Tom Robinson was innocent or guilty. He said, “I mean before a man is sentenced to death for murder, say there should be one or two eyewitnesses. Someone should be able to say, ‘Yes, I was there and saw him pull the trigger’” (251). Displaying Jem’s maturity, this statement is also a prime example of how not only adults use reason. Furthermore, Scout learns that others can use logic no matter their age. On the other hand, the jury of the court case applied only their feelings when deciding the final ruling. Later in the discussion Jem and Atticus had, Atticus explains, “There’s something in our world that makes men lose their heads– they couldn’t be fair if they tried” (251). The men of the jury’s senses of reason had been altered due to their own ignorance of the facts presented in the case and the fact that they do not have enough courage to say that a black man is innocent. From their decision being corrupted by society, Scout learns that reason can be affected by one’s own fears and reputation. When instances such as these are presented to Scout, she learns that as people age, their status in humanity can impact their thought
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