The Importance Of Violence In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

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To the general public, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is an exceedingly controversial book that has caused debate in the academic community for decades. The question is: should To Kill a Mockingbird be taught in schools? In my opinion, it should, due to its progressive nature and ability to teach critical morals to the reader. However, it should only be taught in schools if the teacher discusses the book’s controversy with their students. Throughout To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee not only includes progressive ideas, she also emphasizes standing up for what you believe in and using words as a force for change, rather than violence. Lee uses the character of Atticus to teach morals to the reader through Atticus’s instruction to Jem and Scout. When Scout is…show more content…
No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ‘em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change…’” (Lee 87). Lee’s use of the phrase, “try fighting with your head for a change” illuminates that it is better to fight with words and knowledge than to physically attack someone, as Scout frequently does to other kids at school. This is an important lesson for students all over the world, especially in schools where physical violence is a frequent issue. Additionally, To Kill a Mockingbird includes very socially progressive ideas, also portrayed through Atticus. Atticus is defending an African American man in court, something that could get him socially shamed or even threatened. However, he defies the social norms and tries to get the town of Maycomb to accept his modern views. Before the jury announces the verdict, Atticus gives a grand speech to the courtroom: “‘...the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women--black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men”
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