About this sample
About this sample
Words: 798 |
4 min read
Published: Aug 31, 2023
Words: 798|Pages: 2|4 min read
If everyone were to respect people’s different views of the world and would be kind to one another, the world would be a much more peaceful place and you wouldn’t see people treating others wrongly, this idea is often portrayed in literature. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Jem changes the way he looks at someone's character due to the incident with Mrs. Dubose. This highlights the novel's exploration of the transformative power of kindness in the face of To Kill a Mockingbird conflict. There are many ways that Lee portrays the role of kindness in her novel, most of them are through the lessons that Scout and Jem learn throughout the story.
Everyday when Jem and Scout would walk home from school, they would have to pass by Mrs. Dubose’s house, there was no other way around it. Everytime they would walk by she would be sitting on her porch and she would never fail to yell something rude at them, whether it was about the way Scout dressed and acted or criticizing the way Atticus had raised his children. They had gotten so used to it that they’ve learned to just brush it off. But recently, ever since their father took the Tom Robinson case, Mrs. Dubose wouldn’t only criticize the children but their father as well, she would call him things like a n-lover, and a disgrace to the community. Jem would try his best to keep his thoughts to himself, he didn’t care what people said about him, but when they would attack his father, he felt the urge to defend him because he respected Atticus and wanted everyone else to realize that his father was doing the right thing and they should learn from him. On the contrary, Jem kept his mouth shut because those were Atticus’ orders. Although he tried his best, he eventually lost his temper, one day on their way home from town, Mrs. Dubose was not out on her front porch so Jem decided to take the baton he had just bought Scout and ruin her “snow on the mountain”, he then broke the baton in two, gave it back to Scout and without saying a word, they continued their way home.
Although Jem must go to Mrs. Dubose’s house as a punishment, the outcome of the punishment had a great effect on Jem. As it turns out, the hateful old lady has a different side to her than people initially thought. Even though she initially appeared to be a rude person on the outside, she actually has a lot of courage on the inside. Jem learns from his encounter with Mrs. Dubose that there is more to people than just what they show on the surface. He also learns about the value of self-control. Mrs. Dubose is rude, and is very critical of Atticus ' defence of Tom Robinson as well as how he raises his kids. When Atticus learns of the trouble Jem caused for Mrs. Dubose, he is punished by being forced to read to her everyday. During this time, Jem must learn to control his emotions and be kind to the old lady. In learning to control his emotions and show kindness even though he may not want to, Jem is showing a change in character and taking responsibility. By doing this, Jem discovers that Mrs. Dubose’s kindness was taken from her due to the many struggles she faced in her life such as struggling from a morphine addiction.
In conclusion, To Kill a Mockingbird masterfully portrays the transformative power of kindness and empathy in a world marked by prejudice and judgment. Through the experiences of characters like Jem, the novel underscores the profound impact that understanding and compassion can have on shaping perceptions and fostering positive change. Jem's journey from encountering Mrs. Dubose's outward hostility to uncovering her hidden struggles serves as a poignant reminder that individuals are often shaped by unseen battles and challenges. As the story unfolds, Harper Lee skillfully illustrates how small acts of kindness and the willingness to look beyond surface appearances can lead to profound shifts in perspective and the fostering of genuine connections. Just as Jem learned to restrain his anger and extend compassion, so too does the novel invite us to reflect on our own interactions and judgments. Through its rich narrative, To Kill a Mockingbird invites readers to consider the importance of empathy, self-control, and understanding in a world desperately in need of healing. By embracing these values, we can strive to create a more harmonious and just society, one where the song of metaphorical mockingbirds is heard and celebrated by all.
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