• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside his skin and walk around in it.” Show how Atticus possesses the ability to do this and how Scout develops the skill during the novel.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Duncan Meadows December 2001 "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside his skin and walk around in it." Show how Atticus possesses the ability to do this and how Scout develops the skill during the novel. "To Kill a Mockingbird" was written in 1960 by Harper Lee. It is based in Maycomb, Alabama, and is based around the lives of two young children, Jem and Scout, as they grow up in the Deep South with their father Atticus, a lawyer. The book explores the problems America faced in the thirties. One of the main themes of the novel is racism, which is particularly prevalent in the southern states. Almost all of Maycomb is racist but a few members of the community, most importantly Atticus, hold a different point of view. Early on in the novel Harper Lee shows us how Atticus can empathise with his own children about everyday matters. Atticus responds sympathetically to Scout's unhappy first day at school by giving her the advice quoted in the title. ...read more.

Middle

Here we are supremely shown how Atticus can not only climb inside one particular person's skin and walk around in it, i.e. Tom Robinson's, but how he can climb into the skins of an entire minority group. In defending Tom Robinson he is defending the black community and exposing the injustices perpetrated by white people and their blind prejudice. When asked by Scout why he is defending a Negro, Atticus replies, "For a number of reasons ... the main one is, if I didn't I couldn't hold my head up in town, I couldn't represent this county in the legislature, I couldn't tell you or Jem not to do something again." Throughout the book Harper Lee brings to our attention how Atticus understands the essence of other human beings. He is particularly generous in his understanding of Duncan Meadows December 2001 individuals disliked or shunned by most people. Even when the despised Bob Ewell threatens that he will kill Atticus, Atticus encourages Jem to see the world from Mr. Ewell's point of view. "Jem, see if you can stand in Bob Ewell's shoes a minute. I destroyed his last shred of credibility at that trial, if he had any to begin with. ...read more.

Conclusion

As Scout watches Miss Maudie's house burn down, Boo puts a blanket around her shoulders. She is horrified when she discovers what Boo has done. Here Harper Lee juxtaposes Scout's sympathetic feelings towards Miss Maudie with her disdainful feelings towards Boo even though he was only being thoughtful towards her. However, by the end of the book we can see the depth of Scout's understanding of Boo. After Bob Ewell's attack on Jem and Scout and Boo's intervention, which saves their lives, Scout's attitudes have profoundly changed. Her gentle and sensitive behaviour towards Boo at the end of the novel indicates how well she understands what it must be like to be Boo. Scout comments, "Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough." In conclusion, I think that through Atticus and Scout, Harper Lee emphasises the importance of looking at the world from other peoples' point of view in order to prevent misunderstanding and prejudice. She also emphasises the importance of being tolerant. At the end of the book Scout says, "Atticus, he was real nice." Atticus replies, "Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them." ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harper Lee essays

  1. Atticus once said “You never really know a man until you stand in his ...

    Scout is very lucky to have a brother that sticks up for her in a time of need. When Dill comes round Jem is not such a novelty to Scout, as she kind of shows him the cold shoulder. She does not stick with him sometimes but sticks with Dill even though Jem is bigger, stronger and older than Dill.

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    They tried to tell him to stop and fired warning shots, but he would not listen and kept running. Atticus needs Calpurnia to go with him to Tom's wife to give the news. The two of them go, leaving Aunt Alexandra to tell Miss Maudie in the kitchen that she's concerned about Atticus.

  1. Atticus once said You never really know a man until you stand in his ...

    Scout is very lucky to have a brother that sticks up for her in a time of need. When Dill comes round Jem is not such a novelty to Scout, as she kind of shows him the cold shoulder. She does not stick with him sometimes but sticks with Dill even though Jem is bigger, stronger and older than Dill.

  2. According to Atticus Finch, one of the main characters in To Kill A Mockingbird, ...

    him as if he were some fragrant gardenia in full bloom on the witness stand , to see Mr. Gilmer half-sitting, half standing at his table. The jury was watching him, one man leaning over with his hands over the railing. 'What's so intrestin'?' he asked. 'You're left handed Mr.

  1. At the end of the novel, Scout says "He was really nice." Atticus replies ...

    Once you discover who they really are you can then place your own justified judgement. This quote relates closely to the quote in the title as you need to consider people from their point of view, then you can "Finally see them".

  2. How is Atticus’s Comment ‘You Never Know Someone Until You Climb Into Their Skin ...

    Scout believes that no matter how the human race is split up into different types of people, everyone is the same: 'I think there's just one type of folks. Folks.' Boo Radley introduces the theme of prejudice. Stephanie Crawford describes him as: 'So upright he took the word of God

  1. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his points of ...

    This starts when they find the gifts in the tree, they first assume that someone hides their things there but conclude that someone left it there for them when no one else shows interest in taking any of it. Jem realises that it is Boo who puts the gifts there

  2. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of ...

    the spring without hearing from or seeing Mrs Dubose again until one night Atticus was called to her house and when he returned he told the children of her death.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work