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To Kill a Mockingbird - Seeing From Another Point of View

Updated on February 24, 2011

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Analysis

In the story To Kill A Mockingbird Atticus tells Scout that you can get along better with people if you consider things from their point of view. Jean Louise (Scout) is only able to see people from her point of view in the beginning of the story. Scout spends a lot of the rest of the novel using his advice. She develops the ability too stand in other peoples’ shoes. She looks beyond first impressions of people.

A woman named Mrs. Dubose is one of the neighbors of the Finch family. Scout and her brother Jem think she is just mean all the time and therefore is a mean lady. They later in the story find out that this isn’t the case. Before this she had become addicted to pain pills and could not stop taking them. She new she was bound to die and she didn’t want to die an addict, so she decided to break the habit. She was going through withdrawals. This is what made her grumpy and mean.

Scout also puts herself in the place of Tom Robinson who was on trial for raping a woman named Mayella Ewell. He in fact didn’t commit the crime, but courts in those times were racist and Tom didn’t have much of a chance going free. Tom is called to the witness stand and mentions that he feels sorry for Mayella. The court sees this as a mistake and Tom realizes this. He would feel sorry for her if you put yourself in his shoes. He passed her place every morning. Her family was poor and she didn’t get much help from anybody so Tom helped her out.

Another man mentioned in the story was a funny man… Dolfus Raymond. He was always seen with a bottle in a bag and Scout and Jem always assumed he was a drunk. This wasn’t the case. Raymond just wanted people to think that. He really only was drinking cola in the bag. He just wanted people to think he was drunk. This way he would get along with people better, so he said.

Calpurnia, a black woman that helped out the Finch family once took Jem and Scout to an all black church. Calpurnia was a very proper speaker and had a good vocabulary. When they all went to church Scout observed that Calpurnia didn’t speak like she normally did. She spoke like all of the other blacks at the church. Her reasoning for this was that she wasn’t out to impress people, she just wanted to be normal and fit in. Scout and Jem are surprised to hear that only a few people in the church know how to read, Calpurnia being one of them.

Walter Cunningham was a boy from Maycomb and in Scout’s school. Scout beat him up at school and Jem broke up the fight. In apology Jem invited him over to dinner. Walter was reluctant to say yes. The Cunningham’s were known for being honest and not stealing. When Walter is eating he pours syrup all over his food. Scout is disgusted and is soon yelled at by both Atticus and Calpurnia. They said he can eat however he wants.

All of these people in the story that Scout meets, she learns more and more from them and in life in general. Scout learns that Atticus’s advice is definitely useful and if you put yourself in someone else’s shoes you can learn more about them and see why they do the things they do.

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