Tom Robinson - essay
In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee conveys to the reader that having strong and morally correct influencers in life can greatly aide the coming of age process, as opposed to being influenced by a prejudiced personality, which can slow or even halt the growth of an individual. This claim is found to be proven if the reader gives closer examination to three aspects of the text, these elements being: point of view, conflict, and character.
Prejudice affects the point of view in the novel by changing the way that the characters look at people and certain situations. This can be seen by the reader when the group of men are preparing to kill Tom Robinson, all appearing to possess the same goals and ideals. These men grew up in Maycomb and don’t stop to think this isn’t acceptable behaviour, because they’ve never been exposed to the concept of equality. One’s point of view is influenced and altered by those around them and what is deemed acceptable behaviour. The children see Maycomb as a whole succumbing to the mob mentality that plagues the town during the trial (insert chapter reference and text here).
In the novel Scout’s development through conflict is shown by the way how her behaviours change. She begins the novel fighting other children in defense of her dad Atticus, who is the attorney for Tom Robinson, a black man accused of the rape of a white woman. Atticus tells Scout not to fight (add text on passage with scout walking away from a fight), and Scout obeys even though she remains angry and wants to stand up for her family's reputation. As Scout comes of age this teaching will realize Atticus words that.
Strong views clearly affect how the characters grow throughout the book. A few examples can be found in the way that Mayella acts and perceives other people’s actions and words in the trial, and the stark difference between the mannerisms of Scout and Jem compared to that of other children their age.(Ex. Of scout and Jem: put in a passage that the children see Tom Robinsons innocence and don’t presume guilt, see the trial evidence for mayella who was taught by her father to lie and treated badly by him). Atticus provides the children frequent teachings to consider another point of view than the one based on their narrow experiences, including and this teaching makes them wiser than many people of Maycomb much older than them.
Conclusion - teaching and experience shape prejudice, positive influence results in an equality mindset and empathy for others different from ourselves, negative results in fear and division.
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