Things I’ve learned from To Kill A Mocking Bird

At the beginning of this year, I set up a list of books I would like to read. So far I have only read three of them but the one that I did manage to complete is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This book is quite literally a tale as old as time and resonates with any generation. The book deals with some serious things such a discrimination and gender roles but here are some of the things I found really important that you may not have picked up on or may agree upon. Please note this discussion will deal with things that happen at the end of the book so if you have not read it I do not suggest reading this.

  1. “I think there’s only one kind of folk, folks” – Jem Finch
    This is a line from very early on in the book and its a comment Jem makes on social divides, he however later takes it back and says there are 4 kinds of folks. I, however, agree with Jem’s earlier statement on how there is only one kind of folk. This statement brings up the question of if there is only one kind of person why can’t we all get along? I think the true meaning of this statement is people will be people, we all make mistakes, we all hurt, we all hurt others and we all love. The not getting along part links to being hurt when we are hurt we create a wall around our hearts to guard ourselves but by doing this we hurt others and the cycle continues. This statement is portrayed throughout the book and it follows the idea that the innocence of being a child blinds us, but personally, I think it opens our eyes.
  2. “Let the dead bury the dead.” – Heck Tate
    This is the line Mr Heck Tate says to Atticus after Bob Ewell is killed and its something that struck me incredibly strongly. If we look at the quote it’s referring to how the death of two men solves the problem and we should stop dwelling on it. If we apply this quote to life in a broader spectrum, we see that sometimes we are so caught up in making things right that we don’t realise that the very nature of the situation has solved itself already and sometimes all we need is an outside opinion.
  3. The tragedy that is Mayella Ewell
    Harper Lee paints this heartbreaking image of Mayella Ewell in the book, Mayella was simply unfortunately born into the wrong family. She is a young girl abused by her father, tries so hard to remove herself from the trash that is her family yet she is constantly reminded of her status by the cruelty of society. She is always stuck in the house and can never leave butMayella breaks countless of the unspoken laws of that time an example of one of these laws is that a white woman should not lust for a black man, yet Mayella lusts for Tom Robinson. When the trial comes around there is a part of me that thinks that it broke Mayella to convict Tom. A man who had been nothing but a friend to her is now going to be convicted and killed all because she screamed. There is a line in the book that goes along the lines of “Tom Robinson was a dead man the moment Mayella screamed.” The saddest thing is that Mayella will have to carry the death of Tom Robinson on her shoulders for the rest of the life.After finishing the book a sort of peace came to me when I thought of how now that Bob Ewell was dead Mayella could have some kind of peace. Without her father in the picture, and seeing she was of age, Mayella could take the relief cheques and finally build the life she had always wanted and create a sense of peace for herself. But it then came to me that the town would never stop seeing Mayella as trash and she would never be treated with any respect.Throughout the story of To Kill a Mockingbird, we are met with these mockingbirds that are represented by characters to show the harsh and damaging society that we live in. Mayella Ewell is probably the most over-looked Mockingbird in the whole story, and one of the most important. Mayella never showed integrity or grit or even compassion, but I think the biggest reason why is because she doesn’t know how. She’s never seen any of these characteristics so she wouldn’t know how to introduce them to her personality. She’s not a very moral character but she is a character that has been through great hardship.
  4. Scout Finch
    Scout is one of the main characters but something I really love about her is that she sees the world through really interesting eyes. Sometimes i disagreed with the way she saw things but as she got older and the times her older self reflected back on her life you could see she most certainly wasn’t a force to be rekoned with and that she has a vast amount of intuition. Something that greatly suprised me was her gentleness with Boo at the end of the book. she was calm in the most mature way and was careful with him. It was a true reflection of how we must stand in others shoes and then – only then – do we truely see them.

I know this is only four things and I have many more but most of them have been spoken about countless times. I hope this provides some insight and let me know what your favourite part was if you’ve read it.

~ Phoebe

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