To Kill a Mocking Bird explores the exuberant humour and the irrational attitudes towards race and class, through the young eyes of two Maycomb County children, Jem and Scout Finch. Jem and Scout endure the pressure to comprehend the prejudice, violence and hypocrisy of Maycomb County. The children are influenced by many different characters, their father, the great Atticus Finch being the more prominent. Ironically Boo Radley, a Maycomb county resident who has been burdened by the majority of folks in town also has a great influence on Jem and Scout and the growth of their characters. There is also the woman of the household Calpurnia, an African American nanny who also contributes to the emotional development of both characters.
Atticus Finch is not only a role model for Scout and Jem, but also for the entire community of Maycomb. His social status is endorsed by his occupation as a lawyer and his level of education, which promotes him as a leader for his children and for the entire community. Jem and Scout admire Atticus’s intelligence and respect his beliefs. Atticus communicates with his children on a level they feel comfortable with. He teaches his children the acts of decent human principles, without criticism. This greatly affects the way the children approach others and act as individuals. Atticus concentrates on developing Jem and Scout as people, people who acquire morals, principles, ethics and human decency, never criticising the habitual nature of his children. For example, Atticus telling Scout to put on a dress and act like a girl, would in affect abuse her self-confidence.
... to Maycomb with Atticus. Calpurnia is treated like a member of the family. Atticus allows her to scold and discipline Scout and Jem when ... , which she tries to enforce upon Scout. She is concerned with Atticus raising his children "properly." Aunt Alexandra displays her beliefs ... Ironically, watching the injustice that Tom suffers helps the children understand why Boo may choose to be a recluse. Nathan ...
Atticus also passes on wisdom to his children on such issues as prejudice. Jem and Scout are confused by the notion that their father would represent a black man in court, though Atticus teaches Jem and Scout to accept all human beings, for every man is considered equal no matter what his colour or beliefs. “ If I didn’t I couldn’t hold up my head in town, I couldn’t represent this country in the legislate, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again”. This quote refers to his defence of Tom Robinson. In Maycomb the majority of white people consider themselves superior over the Negroes. Atticus teachers his children otherwise, that this statement shouldn’t apply to the human race.
Through his unique method of teaching and relating to both Jem and Scout, Atticus subsequently develops their understanding of life and gains their respect.
Boo Radley also has a signicent influence on both Jem and Scout. The wildly intriguing Boo Radley chronicle entices the children, as well as the reader. Their profound effort to manipulative this so-called creature and bring about change in Maycomb takes a surprising turn which teachers the children a valuable lesson. Maycomb folks perceive Boo as different and have always considered the Radley’s outcasts to society because of their ironic behaviour.
The Boo Radley saga enlightened both Jem and Scout through the duration of the novel. Boos unpredictable nature and rumoured past is what interests the children.
Though, his character creates a sense of darkness throughout the novel he is in no doubt misunderstood by the children, as well as the reader.
Jem and Scout are completely baffled when they discover small gifts in the large oak tree outside the Radley place. They soon realise that Boo’s reputation is based on lies. He is not at all a bad man, just different to the cliché acts of Maycomb County. Jem and Scout greatly appreciate the affect Boo Radley had on their lives and come to respect other people and their beliefs. Boo taught Jem and Scout to avoid following the judgemental nature of society. Boo also understands and accepts the children’s misconception. He shows nothing but love and respect. Jem and Scout learn not to fear what’s different, but to embrace what’s different. The ability to accept and tolerate what’s different is the most important aspect of developing friendship. Boo proves to the children that this possible.
... . After an argument with Scout, Jem suggests they play a new game called "Boo Radley," which Scout recognizes as Jem's attempt to prove his ... and saved both children's lives-is Boo Radley. Scout, Atticus, Heck Tate, and Boo retire to the front porch. Atticus begins defending Jem, insisting that ... that she's lying, he treats her with courtesy and respect; Mayella thinks that he's making fun of her. Her ...
Calpurnia has also affected the way Jem and Scout view different people in general. She has taught the children about equality. Her African American culture is accepted in the Finch family. Calipurnia demonstrates that friendships can transpire between both black and white people. Her teachings and discipline are enforced on the children on a daily basis. She teachers diligence, self-respect and acceptance of others. Calpurnia becomes furious when Scout comments on Walter Cunningham’s eating habits. “Hush your mouth. Don’t matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house’s yo’ comp’ny, and don’t let me catch you remarkin’ on their ways like you was so high and mighty! Yo folks might be better’n the Cunningham’s but it don’t count for nothin’ the way you’re disgracin’ em”. Scout is utterly disgraced by this statement and the fact that her ego forced her to retrieve her plate and leave the dining room, although spared her the humiliation of facing Walter again. Calpurnia’s blunt statements seem to threaten Scouts nature, although teach the children about human decency and good morals.
The novel demonstrates many significant acts of teaching, which alter the way Jem and Scout view the people of Maycomb County. The ability to feel comfortable with oneself and ones beliefs and gain self-respect is the ultimate achievement. The guidance of various individuals greatly affect Jem and Scout personality and beliefs. They are taught respect, acceptance of others and decent human principles which inevitable shapes their personality and their attitude towards life.