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The Wisdom of Atticus in Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird Essay examples

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To Kill a Mockingbird focuses on “Maycomb’s usual disease,” as a pivotal part of the book, but also shows that compassion and wisdom can exist in these most bleak areas. The prejudice and bigotry comes from the lack of knowledge of Maycomb, and their fear to change what they have grown up with. Pre-conceived ideas are the main reason that Maycomb is ignorant of black people as they are afraid what a change of those pre-conceived ideas will bring. Even so, compassion still exists, as Atticus is able to save Scout and Jem from the influence of ‘Maycomb’s usual disease.’ Wisdom is also embodied by Atticus, where his wisdom, which is not necessarily knowledge but life experience, is able to force him to do things which are right, shown in his reluctant shooting of the rabid dog.
The lack of knowledge in Maycomb about the outside world and their opinions about black people ingrains ‘Maycomb’s usual disease’ into their minds as they have no other opinions about black people. This is shown by the crowd’s outrage as they gather to lynch Tom, not knowing that he was innocent, but blinded by their pre-conceived ideas about black people, thinking that Tom obviously did it as he was black. Their prejudice and ignorance blinded them to the fact that the Ewell’s had manipulated him to their own benefit. Also, this prejudice causes the people who are prejudiced to be as prejudiced towards people who are not. This is shown by Mrs Dubose’s statement to Jem, “Your fathers no better than the niggers and trash he works for.” This shows that Atticus and his family are put on a lower level than normal citizens.
Pre-conceived opinions are able to make people opposed highly to changing them as well, with the ideas sticking in Maycomb. The hierarchy or ...


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...s will pass on these ideas to children and family. Even so, compassion emitted from Atticus towards his children are able to shield them from the disease and make them much like Atticus, someone who would see it like it is rather than be blindfolded by the pre-conceived ideas. Wisdom and life experience also are shown as very desirable traits to have as they can motivate you through the toughest tasks and drive you to do what should be done instead of abandon your duties. In conclusion, Harper Lee’s book To Kill a Mockingbird highlights the horrible prejudice and ignorance towards black people in the southern town of Maycomb, but also shows wisdom and compassion as not only desirable but necessary traits to have to withstand the bombardment of pre-conceived ideas from the people surrounding you, and also portrays these qualities as a shield to people around you.




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