To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

November 24, 2017

There are many lessons to take out of the book To Kill A Mockingbird, but an important lesson that the book has taught us is to treat everyone equally. In the book you can clearly see this lesson being taught, and the characters being reminded of this lesson. When Walter Cunningham comes to the Finch family's house he is seen as different by Scout. Scout starts to judge Walter Cunningham and Calpurnia pulls her into the kitchen so she can reevaluate what she is saying. When Calpurnia is speaking to Scout she says, “‘He ain’t company, Cal, he’s just a Cunningham’” (Lee, 1960, p. 33). Scout is referring to Walter as a nobody. To Scout Walter is nothing because of the way he looks. His clothing is dirty, he is super skinny, and his father delivers food to people for money. In her 6 year old mind that is bad. After Scout says this mean thing about Walter, Calpurnia yells at her and says, “‘Hush your mouth! Don’t matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house’s yo’ comp’ny, and don’t you let me catch you remarkin’ on their ways like you was so high and mighty’” (Lee, 1960, p. 33). This catches Scout’s eye on how she sees other people, so this text gives Scout more to think about when it comes to judging other people. This gives her more perspective, so in the future when she sees Tom Robinson she is not quick to judge. After Atticus got home from the legislative meeting him, Scout, and Jem were having a conversation about why Atticus is defending Tom Robinson. Atticus is explaining why this case is important to him, and why it is important in general. While Atticus was talking with the children, he says, “‘This case, Tom Robinson’s case, is something that goes to the essence of a man’s conscience --Scout, I couldn’t go to church and worship God if I didn’t try to help that man’” (Lee, 1960, p. 139). Atticus know what this case can to do to his reputation. He is willing to sacrifice his reputation for a man who is kinder than words can say, and he is just like any other white man. Atticus sees the good in Tom Robinson. He understands that Bob Ewell and Mayella Ewell lied about everything just to get another black man in jail. Atticus and Calpurnia are showing the kids what is right and what is wrong. Throughout the book this lesson is given to Scout and Jem, and they understand that everyone one is equal. After the conviction of Tom Robinson, Jem was very upset. He understands how wrong it was for Tom Robinson to be convicted of a crime he did not commit. Jem gets very emotional “It was Jem’s turn to cry. His face was streaked with angry tears as we made our way through the cheerful crowd. ‘It ain’t right,’ he muttered, all the way to the corner of the square where we found Atticus waiting’” (Lee, 1960, p. 284). Jem understands the horrific treatment of Tom Robinson. He realizes how wrong it was to sentence him to something he did not because he is a black man. He is filled with anger, and he makes Scout realize the reality of the situation. With Scout and Jem realizing the situation of Tom Robinson, that has made them grow as people. There understanding shows the maturity growing from them. The lesson of treating everyone equally has a great impact on the story.


Many people in the world today judge people because of either what they look like, or how they act. This lesson goes directly to people with disabilities, for especially children with disabilities. Children who are born with disabilities are seen as different from nondisabled people. The lesson of treating everyone equally applies to this situation. Just because someone was born with disabilities does not mean that they are different from anyone else. If someone looks different does not mean you can treat them differently than you would a person who is not disabled. These types of situations can end if everyone would treat everyone equally. You, as a person, are no different than any other person. This book is relevant to the present day because the lessons taught in the book can change a person’s perspective on other people. Treating everyone equally 55 years ago was a big problem because white people didn’t know how to react to African Americans, so they were treated differently. All the people that these lessons have impacted, changed their views on other people. To Kill A Mockingbird was published in 1960 when the civil rights movements were active. Treating everyone equally has given white Americans a different side of things and they can change other people’s point of views. When I read this book, I was shocked to see the language used because I have heard people refer to the hateful language, but I never have read it on paper and that changed everything. This book has helped myself in ways that have greatly affected me. My father is African American, and to think that if these lessons weren’t taught, where would I be? I would not exist because it was a sin or frowned down upon for white people to marry and have kids with black people. The lesson of treating everyone equally applies to everyone and it is important to me and others that we all are the same.

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