Welcome to Gaia! ::

Forgive the choppy writing, because, well, you guessed it. I'm not a good writer. Any pointers in making this a more structured essay will be well received, I promise. I'll take any criticism as long as it's constructive. And don't forget about grammar errors or things like that. I'm often careless. Also, I'm not sure if this is the right forum, so please forgive me. Lastly, if you write TL;DR, I will smack you.

Here's the essay:

Mockingbirds never sing their own songs, only replicating the sounds of others. This fact is reflected upon the book in that the man considered a mockingbird is a simple creature, unable to stand up for himself, allowing the bigotry and misjudgements about him to spread throughout the town. Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, is a story about two children, Scout and Jem Finch, overcoming the troubles they face growing up in a twisted town named Maycomb. Within the town lives a man named Arthur “Boo” Radley. Townspeople wrongfully judge him because of his unfortunate past and as a result, he conceals himself from the town of Maycomb. However, throughout the book, Boo Radley slowly opens up to the children and inadvertently teaches them a lesson about judging people. In the words of Atticus Finch: “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” (30). As a consequence of his innocence and benevolence, Boo Radley is inferred and considered the mockingbird of the story.

Maycomb is a town overcome with discrimination, though the naive children do not realize it. For instance, Tom Robinson is convicted guilty without concrete evidence; Mayella, the supposed victim, had only her word just the same as Tom Robinson. As a white woman, the jury accepted her testimony as truth over Tom Robinson’s. Jem, aware of the injustice of the conviction, cries. Similarly, Dill sheds tears at the way Tom Robinson is treated by the prosecution. Tom Robinson is judged because of his race while Boo Radley is judged because of his isolation from society. Both of these men faced hardships in their lives because of the prejudice and bias against them and, in accordance to the title of the book, are mockingbirds. According to Atticus, you can “shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (9 cool It’s a sin to kill a mockingbird because everything they do is pure and unselfish. All Tom Robinson wanted to do was to help Mayella Ewell; he did the work for free because he knew Mayella had no one to help her, nothing to pay for work, and no friends to keep her company. Boo Radley, though compared with a malevolent phantom at the start, through a shift in perspective became a sort of guardian angel of Scout and Jem. He watched over the children as they grew up, unaware of the cruelty around them. To illustrate, the laughing Scout heard after her crash into the Radley house was extremely sinister to her, but in truth, Boo Radley was simply amused by the children playing. To most of the townspeople, Boo was an enigma and a man to be feared. The children in their guilelessness accepted these stereotypes as truth and made games of the fabled Boo Radley who was “about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks ... There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time.” (65) This exaggeration of Boo’s appearance is one example of the horror evoked by gossipers such as Stephanie Crawford. His true appearance was more of a ghost, though his hair, according to Scout, had the texture of a bird’s feather, an obvious reference to the fact Boo is the story’s mockingbird. In the end, one of the mockingbirds, Tom Robinson, was brutally murdered and the other, Boo Radley, was mercifully released. Townsfolk such as Maudie Atkinson, Atticus Finch, and Link Deas are good at heart, but the racism, animosity, and hypocrisy within Maycomb shone through.

Maycomb’s Atticus is a wise man who seems to see only the good in everyone. Though some may argue the book blatantly states any racist person as pure evil, the true meaning is deeper than that. Everyone has good in them and it’s up to them to show it; Atticus is the one that says most people are good once you really get to know them. He may not have always been around for Scout and Jem, but he was there when it mattered and there when they needed him as a role model. Even though Boo Radley and Atticus seem worlds apart, they aren’t as different as they seem. Both characters are truly good people with good intentions. Atticus chooses to confront the world and face its cruelty, edifying his children as they grew up. Boo, in all his goodness, stays inside his house, perhaps afraid to witness the evils of the town. Jem realizes something when he says, “Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand something. I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time... it's because he wants to stay inside." (117) These words were said after the trial of Tom Robinson, an occurrence that pried open the eyes of the children and forced them to observe the spitefulness of their own town.
Boo Radley’s kindness and compassion was key in Scout’s coming of age. The gifts he placed in the knothole were his way of reaching out to the children and making friends with them. In the book, he placed a blanket around Scout’s shoulders and attempted to mend Jem’s britches. The ultimate act of goodness was saving the children from Bob Ewell. After the the great battle, Scout stood on Boo Radley’s front porch, looking through the eyes of Boo Radley: “It was fall and his children fought on the sidewalk in front of Mrs. Dubose’s... Winter, and his children shivered at the front gate... Summer and he watched his children’s heart break. Autumn again, and Boo’s children needed him.” (374) Seeing everything the way Boo Radley saw it allowed Scout to truly understand Boo. In this way, she finally learned Atticus’ lesson.

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.” (94) Boo Radley was a recluse and he paid the consequences for it, though he shouldn’t have had to. Through his misery, Atticus taught an important lesson to his children that should be understood in everyday life: Treat everyone with respect, no matter who it is, because you can’t know them well until you walk around in their shoes.


Edited to add space between each paragraph.
It's due tomorrow.

Quick Reply

Submit
Manage Your Items
Other Stuff
Get Items
Get Gaia Cash
Where Everyone Hangs Out
Other Community Areas
Virtual Spaces
Fun Stuff
Gaia's Games