ut comes to understand as a result of following Atticus addive?”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.”
Who are the people Scout comes to understand as a result of following Atticus’ advice?
To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, explores different themes and contains many important lessons. One of these lessons is empathy and understanding which is introduced to the main character through Atticus Finch who says “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.” By following Atticus’ advice, Scout begins to understand many different characters such as her brother Jem, Miss Caroline Fisher and Arthur Boo’ Radley.
Upon going to school for the first time, Scout has a few misunderstandings with her teacher Miss Caroline Fisher. Instead of going back to school and facing the problem, Scout would rather hide from it and not return to school again. … and she said you taught me all wrong, so we can’t ever read any more, ever. Please don’t send me back, please sir…’ (pg. 33) Atticus’ response was to tell Scout that running away from the problem is not an option. He then gives her some helpful advice.
.. if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along better with all kinds of folks… consider things from his point of view climb into his skin'(pg, 33). By now looking at the days events with a different view, Scout begins to understand that Miss Caroline Fisher really didn’t mean any harm in any of the things she did.
‘…but if Walter and I had put ourselves in her shoes, we’d have seen it was an honest mistake on her part. We could not expect her to learn all Maycomb’s ways in one day, and we could not hold her responsible when she knew no better. (pg. 33) This proves that this piece of advice from her father is very useful, and she used it again the next time there was a misunderstanding, this time with her brother Jem.
After Jem’s traumatic experience of going back to the Radley house, alone at two o’clock in the morning he stayed silent and moody for a week. Rather than trying to get Jem to talk to her, or play with her, Scout uses the advice that Atticus gave her.
…I tried to climb into Jem’s skin and walk around in it: if I had gone alone to the Radley place at two in the morning, my funeral would have been held the next day. So I left Jem alone and tried not to bother him’ (pg. 64) this proves, that again Scout better understands others well, by using the advice given to her. This growth and change in character continues on through the novel and is demonstrated further in the meeting of Arthur Boo’ Radley.
Towards the end of the story, Scout empathises and understands Boo Radley, a character whom she previously feared and avoided all her life. ‘… I had never seen our neighbourhood from this angle…'(pg. 307) this new view of her world at the end of the novel, symbolised the revolution and growth she experienced, all with the unforgettable words of her father ‘…Atticus was righthe said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.’ This act of courage and open-mindedness reveals how greatly Scout had developed and matured throughout the story. This final chapter in the novel described her understanding of Boo, although the mythical fear of him still lingered with those who could not understand.
Unlike many citizens of Maycomb, Scout grew and matured a lot throughout the course of the book. She learnt and developed many skills that were useful to her in all situations. The most prominent and moral of these was to see people’s point of view, before labelling them with a prejudicial facade. Through leaning from Atticus’ advice she began to better understand her surrounding characters such as: Miss Caroline Fisher, Jem Finch and Boo Radley. As a result Scout became empathetic and she gained an important insight into life which helped her to become a better person.