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(Page 33 To Kill A Mocking Bird)This statement made by atticus reflects his views on prejudice and justice. The aim of this discussion is to show the different perspectives and views of some of the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird. The three points of view that I will present in my discussion of this statement are: Bob Ewells extreme prejudices towards blacks, Atticuss fairness and Boo Radleys innocence. Atticus Finch, father of Jem and Scout is the fairest citizen of Maycomb a tired old town in Alabama. Boo Radley is an intelligent child emotionally damaged by his cruel father.
Bob Ewell is considered by many to be white trash because of his way of living and his alcohol addiction. Unlike Atticus, Bob Ewell is unable to see other peoples points of view. This is why he lashes out on Mayella after seeing her kiss Tom Robinson. He does not understand his daughter who was lonely and that this was why she tried to seduce the innocent Tom Robinson. Bob reacted violently to this saying, you god damn whore, Ill kill ya and beating her around the head. This is an example of his prejudice towards Negroes. If it were a white man that Mayella tried to kiss, it would be unlikely that Bob would have beaten her and reported him to the police. Another example of his prejudice and inability to see things from anothers point of view is when he confronts and threatens Atticus after the court hearing. Bob does not understand that Atticus was only doing his job in defending Tom. He was not, as Bob thought, out to humiliate him or discredit him in anyway.
Atticus Finch, a respectable Lawyer is the epitome of fairness and justice in To Kill A Mocking Bird. The statement 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 which he uses to explain to Scout why Boo Radley may not want to come out and is a key factor in his representation of Tom Robinson later on. Atticuss ability to see other peoples perspective is quite frequent throughout the novel. It is this ability to walk in others shoes that earned him the respect of the citizens of Maycomb. When Bob Ewell confronts Atticus in the street, he is able to keep calm and collected by using this strategy. He understands that Bob needed to abuse someone and he would much rather Bob abuse Atticus instead of going home and beating up Mayella Ewell. If Bobs way of showing his anger was by spitting in his face and cursing him he could accept it and move on with his daily routine with no worries.
Atticus explains to Jem why Bob was angry and his motives for confronting Atticus Jem, see if you can stand in Bob Ewells shoes a minute. I destroyed his last shred of credibility at that trial, if he had any to begin with. The man had to have some kind of comeback, his kind always does. So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, thats something Ill gladly take. He had to take it out on somebody and Id rather it be I than a houseful of children out there. You understand?Boo Radley provides an example of the threat that evil poses to innocence and goodness. He is one of the novels mockingbirds, a good person injured by the evil of mankind. He is more of a victim of prejudice than anything else. He is the subject of conspiracies and blamed for all the mishaps that happen around Maycomb.
Early on in the novel we are introduced to this malevolent phantom (page 9) that only appears at night. Any stealthy crimes committed in Maycomb were his work. Once the town was terrorized my a series of morbid nocturnal events: peoples chickens and household pets were found mutilated; although the culprit was Crazy Addie, who eventually drowned himself in Barkers Eddy, people still looked at the Radley place, unwilling to discard their initial suspicions. (Page 9)Lee, Harper. To Kill A Mocking Bird. Warner Books; Reissue edition (October 11, 1988)
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