To kill a mockingbird is a story about growing up. It takes place through the eyes of six-year-old Jean Louise Finch, “Scout,” in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama. The story is set during the Great Depression, where Scout lives with her brother, Jeremy “Jem”; her widowed father, Atticus, and a black cook named Calpurnia, who has lived with the family for many years. Let’s delve into “to kill a mockingbird 5 paragraph essay” that demonstrates the beauty in appreciating life.
Lessons for Life
Atticus is a middle-aged lawyer, but the family does not have a lot of money since his clients are poor. Scout learns four painful lessons about the world around her throughout the book: from Atticus, observation, and experience.
Put Yourself in Another’s Shoes
Scout takes a while to master this lesson. She mostly gets it wrong in the first parts of the book. The Radley house is located opposite Scout’s home, across the street, and its occupants are recluses. One of two sons, Arthur Radley, is in his 30s and has not been seen in many years. Children refer to him as Boo Radley and have a horrid image of his appearance. They claim he is ugly, eats rodents and cats, drools, and will kill any child he catches.
Arthur Radley’s real story is rather tragic, however. He got in trouble with the law for being a wild and disorderly teenager. His father decided to ban him from leaving the house. Arthur remained a recluse from then on.
Stories vs. Truth
Scout, Jem, and Dill spend a lot of time playing games involving the Radley house. They start finding presents, such as pennies and gum, hidden in a hole in a tree and take some time before realizing Boo is leaving them. The children devise a plan to see him and almost get shot by his older brother while peeping through a window. Jem’s pants are caught in a fence as they escape, and Boo fixes them, leaving them for the young boy.
He also places a blanket on “Scout” on one occasion when a neighbor’s house catches fire, and many people in the neighborhood run outside to investigate. They gradually realize that Boo is good over the course of the year.
Do Not Kill a Mockingbird
Perhaps the most important lesson Scout learns is not to kill a mockingbird. Atticus gives the children air rifles and allows them to shoot any bird except a mockingbird. The birds do not eat anyone’s plants or harm anything. They make music. To kill a mockingbird metaphorically implies taking advantage of someone weaker than you.
Keep Fighting Even if You Know You’ll Lose
Tom Robinson is a black man accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. Atticus Finch is his defense attorney and is determined to help him even though he knows he will lose. Everyone in the community is racist to some degree and constantly tease and talk about Scout and Jem because their father is defending a black man accused of rape. Atticus is adamant they should keep their calm in the face of adversity.
A group of men intends to lynch Robinson before he goes to court but are dissuaded by Scout’s timely presence when looking for her father. She starts talking to one of the men whose son is in her class, and he tells the mob to go home.
Vengeance, The World is Unfair
The whole town is in the courthouse for the hearing, and Atticus makes a good case. Mayella and her father, Robert Ewell, are obnoxious and do not seem trustworthy. The physical evidence also looks fishy since Mayella’s bruises are on the right side of her face, while Tom can’t use his left arm. Rob Ewell is left-handed and could have beaten his daughter. Tom tells a convincing story about Mayella trying to seduce him when her father caught her and beat her up. She then accused Tom of rape. Despite this, the jury finds him guilty.
Rob threatens to get revenge on Atticus for embarrassing him. He attacks Jen and Scout with a switchblade on Halloween as they are coming from a pageant and tries to kill them. Rob breaks Jen’s arm, and Boo runs out to help them when he hears their cries, killing Rob with a kitchen knife. The children do not understand what happens because of the dark.
A Good Deed
The sheriff, Heck Tate, and Atticus discuss what to do about the death. Atticus wants to say that Jem killed him in self-defense, publicly absolving him of the crime. The sheriff claims they should say that Bob tripped on a root and fell on his knife. Tate sticks to this story because he knows that Arthur Radley killed Rob and knows the town will treat him like a hero.
Tate knows that such attention would be devastating to a recluse like Arthur. Since he saved the children’s lives, the best reward is to let him keep his privacy. Atticus is afraid to do this because of the injustice witnessed at the trial. He fears his children will never respect him again if he also bends the law because of his association with the sheriff.
Scout intervenes and says she understands making a hero out of “Boo” would be like killing a mockingbird. Despite seeing the unfairness of life, she also understands its beauty. Scout finally understands the first lesson about putting herself in other people’s shoes.
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