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To Kill a Mockingbird - Atticus Teaching Consideration of Others

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How would you feel in the shoes of the person who is suffering around you the most? In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee sculpted her character Atticus Finch into a charming, thoughtful, and most importantly, compassionate man. Mr. Finch roots the idea into his children that you should always think of how the other person feels before you jump to conclusions and judge, or be down-right mean and hurtful to them. Throughout most of the novel, the audience can note several instances where Mr. Finch teachers Scout and Jem life-long moral lessons. In the little town of Maycomb, Alabama, most members of the society are self-centered and unwilling to change their horrid opinions toward things such as being prejudice. As the story progresses, the audience can gain hope that the community will change their ways, but can lose that hope after an innocent black man is charged guilty simply because of his skin color. As stated before, Mr. Finch always tries to implant into his children the "right-way" of life; one of the things he teaches them is to always take someone else's perspective into idea.

Throughout the novel, Mr. Finch is always trying to teach his children to look at other's perspective on things, even if they do not agree. For instance, "Why reasonable people go stark mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don't pretend to understand." (Page 78, Chapter 9) When Mr. Finch said this, he didn't agree that people should behave angrily when something comes up involving a Negro, but he had thought about the possibilities of why they would choose to believe so. Mr. Finch was simply trying to teach his children that it's acceptable to think, or do differently, than others; he had absolutely no intent to get his children to sway one way or the other with their opinions on this. Atticus Finch tries to teach his children to think about everything (and everyone in most cases), before they act in a way that he would consider negative. For example, if Scout and Jem had gone off and agreed with most of the Maycomb society on the topic of Negros, Mr. Finch would want them to think about how the Negros would feel about that; he only tries to plant good seeds in their life, so he can harvest an amazing fruit later.

At one point in the novel Atticus has a talk with Scout that gives the audience a new perspective of Atticus's parenting skills. He says, "If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it." (Page 30, Chapter 3) In this quote Atticus explain to Scout that you have to consider things from their point of view. He tells her you must "climb inside of his skin and walk around in it." In other words, you must experience things as the other person does. By saying that, Atticus truly sets a fine example of ideal morals that Scout can learn from. Scout walks away from this knowing that she must consider other perspectives throughout her life.

As Scout realizes that not every child in Maycomb has the stable lifestyle she has, she starts to get mislead about opinions. A young

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