Why Is Ignorance Important In To Kill A Mockingbird

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“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious

stupidity” (Martin Luther King Jr.). This quote, said by Martin Luther King Jr. is significant,

because it shows that ignorance is the greatest obstacle in one’s life. The novel, To Kill a

Mockingbird takes place during a time in which there was great racial discrimination amongst

people because of color of their skin. Harper Lee writes about the prejudice of society through

the eyes of a young girl named Scout. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee shows

how ignorance affects the way people are viewed, creating prejudice, a problem that can be

solved by understanding.

Throughout the novel, people of Maycomb show ignorance in their actions. While

Atticus is
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When Scout and Jem

are learning to use air-rifles, Atticus tells them not to shoot mockingbirds.“‘I’d rather you shot at

tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you

can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird’” (Lee 90). Mockingbirds are a symbol

of innocence, and Lee through the use of the metaphor, explains that it is wrong to hurt those

innocent and defenseless. In the novel, characters are treated unfairly by the society, even

though, like the mockingbird, they have not done any harm. When one is able to understand the

truth, they gain knowledge and learn to treat everyone fairly.

With the usage of various literary devices, Lee explains that in a society, prejudice fuels

ignorance and ignorance in turn results in prejudice forming a vicious cycle. One can break this

cycle by understanding the truth, which can be achieved sometimes by stepping into others shoes

and understanding their perspective. Martin Luther King Jr. said, being ill informed is

dangerous. Ignorance must not be valued, because it causes people to perceive things
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