During the depression in Alabama, many people, no matter what race, were encountering hard times. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Haper Lee, Scout learns life lessons through experiences throughout her childhood. In her community and her household, Scout watches and interacts with all kinds of people. In the book, Scout learns something new about the people of Maycomb in each chapter and realizes that people are more than what they perceive to be by interacting with three main characters in the novel, Atticus, Mr. Cunningham, and Boo Radley.
In the beginning of the book, Scout’s interpretation of these characters changed throughout the story. At the beginning of the book, Scout’s dad, Atticus, was not like the fun hunting loving father that the other kids had. Atticus was a fifty year old lawyer that didn’t have time or energy to even play football with Scout brother, Jem. Scout felt like she had nothing to brag or be proud of her father about that is shown in this quote, because his daily life was either in the office or into a book. “If your father was thirty you’d find life quite different” “It sure would.
Atticus can’t do anything…. ” (Lee 120) Later on in the story, Scout and Jem see a stray crazy dog. Atticus is asked to shoot it. Scout not knowing that her dad was the best shooter in Maycomb had doubts of letting her dad shoot the dog. Atticus shot the dog on the first bullet. “When we went home I told Jem we’d really have something to talk about at school on Monday. ” (Lee 130) Scout’s first impression of her dad in the beginning of the story changed when she found that she could be proud of her father for being the best shooter in Maycomb.
Another main character in the novel was Mr. Cunningham who was a farmer and one of Atticus clients. Atticus was also representing Tom Robinson, who was a black man being prosecuted for rape by Bob Ewell. Bob Ewell had gathered a bunch of men to go down to the jail house to kill Tom Robinson. Scout, who was hiding and watching everything from afar, could not recognize any of the men. Later on when she ran through the men to Atticus she then recognized one man, and that was Mr. Cunningham. At the beginning of the novel, Atticus told Scout that Mr.
Cunningham was a good honest hard working man that did not take anything from anyone unlike Mr. Ewell. After she realized what was taking place at the jail house and what the men were there to do, she had doubts about Mr. Cunningham being the good man that her father had told her about at the beginning of the novel. Lastly, Boo Radley probably impacted Scout the most in what she learned. At the beginning of the novel, Scout, Jem, and Dill all were curious of the monster that lived at the Radley’s house. He was always kept away and never came out.
All kinds of stories about Boo Radley had been told as Scout grew up, made by different people in her community. Scout was so scared of Boo that she would run past his house every time she would pass it. The town would not even eat the fruit off the trees by their house because they believed Boo had poisoned them. It was obvious that Boo Radley had a bad rep in the town. Later on in the story, Scout and Jim find out someone is leaving them things in a tree hole. They start to believe it is Boo, who was leaving it for them, but they are still not convinced that Boo is safe.
Later on while Miss Maudie’s house was burning and Scout was watching it from afar, someone had put a blanket on her. They come to the conclusion it was Boo Radley and are confused why he would do so. When Boo Radley had saved them from Mr. Ewell in the last few chapters of the book, it had become clear that Boo was not bad at all but afraid of the outside world beyond his house. Scout’s original perception of Boo Radley was all wrong because of the people she interacted with day to day. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Haper Lee, Scout learns life lessons through experiences throughout her childhood.
Three main characters in this book impacted her life the most. Atticus, Mr. Cunningham, and Boo Radley showed Scout to not judge a book by its cover. Not everyone is who they first perceive to be. Like Atticus said “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view — until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. ” (Lee 30) Atticus was right, Scout did not really know any of these people until she put herself in their place and saw who they really were.