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To Kill A Mockingbird Essay Part 1

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Will Hough 12/01/04 To Kill A Mockingbird Essay Part 1 To be educated is to obtain or develop a certain knowledge or skill by a learning process. There are many distinct learning processes, some more explicit than others. In the first part of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, education, in one form or another, is very significant. Both inside and outside of the classroom, Scout continually gains experience through education from both her brother, Jem, or by her wise and tolerant father, Atticus Finch. Although the education of children is more apparent in this novel, the education of adults is not otiose. Scout and Jem learn that Calpurnia, the faithful Negro cook, is their friend. She has been largely responsible for raising the children and has also won complete respect from Atticus, who both children look up to and admire profoundly. Calpurnia is loving yet uncompromising and straight with the children which leads them to gain reverence for her as she has matriarchal characteristics especially since Scout's mother is dead. ...read more.


State education is therefore restrictive, not stimulating. Mrs. Caroline is miffed that Scout can read and blames Atticus for "doing it all wrong." Scout also learned how to write as Calpurnia taught her while working in the kitchen. It seems rather ironic, as Calpurnia doesn't fir the stereotypical image of a black woman - rough and illiterate. In the beginning of chapter 9, Cecil Jacobs, a young boy,announced "Scout Finch's daddy defended niggers." Although Scout had promised not to fight she couldn't resist the temptation and broke her promise to Atticus. She learned however that fighting is not an appropriate response to ignorance as Cecil is young and ignorant and is not aware of what he is saying. Throughout the town, people call Atticus a "nigger-lover". Scout, at first enraged, begins to understand that people are both scared and ignorant. Atticus, once again her "teacher" explains to her that all lawyers defend Negroes and gives the following reason for defending him, " If I didn't I couldn't hold my head in town, I couldn't represent this country in legislature, I couldn't even tell you or Jem what to do." ...read more.


The title "mockingbird" can apply to various characters especially Boo Radley who never harmed anyone and the children learn this throughout the novel but it also foreshadows the fate of Tom Robinson, who had never destroyed anyone but will be brutally destroyed through a false accusation and here Scout and Jem learn adults are not always wise since even though Tom is innocent he will be prosecuted due to prejudice. In the first 11 chapters of the novel we begin to see the innocence and naivety fade out of both children, notably Scout. They both learn more than just what is in their undynamic and bland classroom. Through experience, Jem and Scout realize how courageous and good their father is. Atticus' methods of teaching, perhaps more subtle, eases the pressure of Tom Robinson's case by intentionally letting Scout listen at the door of his conversation with Jack, Scout's uncle. Thus, by seemingly overhearing them, Scout is more impressed and will ultimately try to follow Atticus' advice. More importantly the children learn about moral values and prejudice. Their utter respect for Atticus will help them through the tension during the trial. ...read more.

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