Theme Of Understanding In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Understanding in To Kill A Mockingbird

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is a timeless American Classic. The Novel takes place in Alabama during the 1930’s, and follows the adventures of Scout Finch as she grows up in a society torn by social evils like racism. There are many themes in To Kill A Mockingbird: friendship, compassion, and fairness. Harper Lee illustrates understanding in To Kill A Mockingbird through Jems realization about Mrs. Dubose, the children's change in perspective about Atticus, and the with the children's discovery of the truth about Arthur “Boo” Radley. The theme of understanding can be witnessed by looking at Jems realization about the seemingly wicked Mrs. Dubose. During this time in the novel, Lee creates a misunderstood and angry character that seems to only exists to make Jem and Scout’s life miserable. It is not until after she dies does their father, Atticus, tell Jem the truth about Mrs. Dubose. Unaware that Scout is listening to his conversation,
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Stories about his monster like appearance grabs hold of the young children's’ attention and they proceed to devise devious schemes to lure “Boo” Radley outside his home. At the beginning of the novel, Harper Lee gives “Boo” Radleys description through the eyes of Scout, “Boo was six feet tall, judging from his tracks: he dined on squirrels…” (13). This illustrates the misunderstanding Scout had about Arthur at the beginning of the novel. However by the end of To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout and Jem’s perception of Arthur changes. As quoted by Lee, “He almost whispered it, in the voice of a child that is afraid of the dark” (278). At this point in the novel, Arthur saved the children from an attack orchestrated by Bob Ewell. It is at this moment that Scout understands that “Boo” Radley is not a monster, but a normal human being that has been a victim of social isolation and
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