Seeing the World Through the Eyes of a Child: To Kill a Mockingbird

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                                               Eyes of a Child                                


        Living in little Maycomb County in the 1930s is easier said than done; especially as a child. Jem and Scout Finch, along with their friend Charles "Dill" Harris, discover their community's tendencies just like any other person would. However, the way concepts such as social inequality, racial prejudice, and perspective affect these children contrast with how adults see them. Without fear of judgment from others, a child's innate sense of justice drives their beliefs with deep conviction. While adults possessed a similar sense as a child, it is lost along the journey to adulthood once personal gain and intolerance begin to shape new societal norms. Children grow up learning what's good and bad without thought to their own personal gain. The morality of these innocent children is incredibly tangible and completely transparent. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, children emphasize a sense of right and wrong for adults while discovering for themselves the inconsistencies of the world.

        At the beginning of the novel, the trio of Jem, Scout and Finch become very interested in their neighbors down the street, the Radleys. Arthur "Boo" Radley is a monster, fantasy and eventually a savior to the three children. Boo, being a victim of abuse from his father, knew a very different perspective on the impurities of society and its people. The realization of why Boo stayed confined to his home changed the way Jem, Scout, and Dill looked at their surroundings. “'Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand something. I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time... it's because he wants to stay inside.'" (259).  Jem, being the eldest of the three, puts the puzzle of Boo Radley together. Boo had not only understood the downfalls of people, but had been a victim of them. He is very similar to the trio in his criticisms of the world. Although his response was more introverted compared to Jem, Scout, and Dill. He decided to isolate himself from society in the only safe haven he knew, his home. He didn't want to involve himself in society because he recognized its faults. As a child, Boo decided to keep out of society because of its downfalls. Boo took the most moral action by keep himself uninvolved. He is an example of an innocent mockingbird shot at by society.

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        Children are more empathetic towards others than adults because they are close to those ideas. The ideas of right and wrong and how to treat people are lessons constantly enforced as a child. Because of this reinforcement, these children feel guilty when they don't follow these rules. An example is Scout's guilt over the trio's early relationship with Boo. "Neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between. Boo was a neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors ...

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