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to kill a mockingbird

Is it easy for scout to learn that you'll never really understand some one "until you climb into their skin and walk arount in it" ? Atticus says that...


I think that Scout eventually learns this lesson by the time the novel ends, so it has not necessarily been easy for her. She is a stubborn child. Atticus says this to her fairly early on, but it is not until she has several experiences that give her the chance to see something through the eyes of another that she really "gets it."

She learns to have more compassion for Walter Cunningham and not to judge him so harshly after he comes to lunch at her house. She learns to understand Calpurnia more when Calpurnia takes Scout and Jem to visit "her people" and Scout notices that Calpurnia talks differently when she is with them than when she working in Atticus' house.

She also learns to understand Dill more when she finally realizes why he tells tall tales. When Dill runs away and they find him hiding under the bed in their own home, she begins to understand him a little more.

She also begins to understand and appreciate Miss Maudie as the novel progresses. She admires the fact that Miss Maudie stands for what she believes. She comes to learn that Maudie is courageous.

We finally see that she has learned this lesson at the end of the novel, when Boo Radley is out on the porch. Instead of fearfully refusing to go out and greet him, like she would have at the beginning of the novel, she gently goes out and speaks to him because she has learned that he is truly a mockingbird and doing anything to harm him (like turning him in for killing Bob Ewell) would be like killing a mockingbird. This tells us that she really has learned what it is like to walk around in someone else's skin.

Was it easy for her to learn this lesson? What do you think?

Read about the novel here on enotes.

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