To Kill a Mockingbird


To Kill a Mockingbird 5 chunk essay


English 10


9.25.03


The novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a book about two children, Jem and Scout, growing up in the south during the great depression. During the course of the story, they meet many people. Jem and Scout develop perceptions about the people they meet, some of which are true, and some of which turn out later not to be true. Some of the people they are wrong about include Boo Radley, Mrs. Dubose, and Atticus.


At the beginning of the story, Boo is introduced as someone that Scout is afraid of. Jem and Dill get very curious about him because they never see him, and so they start getting closer and closer to the house. Atticus tells Jem to stop terrorizing Boo, but he and Dill keep on playing the games. Jem ends up almost getting shot by Arthur Radley because He and Dill go to the Radley house at night. As Jem is running away from the house, he gets his pants caught on the fence. He runs away without them because he is scared of being shot. He goes back later to get them, and they are folded over the fence, as if someone knew he was coming back. This is one of the first times that you can see that Boo may not be the monster he is made out to be. Another time is when they find the trinkets in the tree. At first they don’t know it is Boo but they finally realize that he is the only person that could be doing it. The final event that makes Scout understand Boo is when he saves her life, and then after she walks him home and while she is standing on his porch, she sees her and Jem’s life through Boo’s eyes. She realizes that he feels very close to them because they are the only people he sees most of the time, and that he is not a monster at all.


Mrs. Dubose is another person that is not what she seems to be at first. Jem and Scout think that Mrs. Dubose is just a mean old lady that sits on her porch all the time. When they pass her house every day, she yells insults at them. Because of this, Jem and Scout think of her as a mean old lady who likes to insult them. One day, Mrs. Dubose calls Atticus a “nigger-lover” and Jem gets really mad about it, and cuts down Mrs. Dubose’s flowers. As a punishment, he has to read to Mrs. Dubose every day for a month. Scout and Jem find it disgusting to have to be near her. A few days after Jem finishes his punishment, Mrs. Dubose dies. Atticus and Scout are not particularly sorry for her, but Atticus tells them the real story of Mrs. Dubose. He tells then that she is addicted to morphine, but instead of giving in and taking it, she refuses to take it and it makes her very sick. That is the reason that she is so mean. Atticus also tells them that even if Jem had not destroyed the flowers, he would have made them read to her, because even though he disagrees with Mrs. Dubose’s opinions on some issues, he knows that her resistance to the drug is an example of real courage.


Atticus is another person that turns out not to be like what he seems. Scout and Jem think that he can’t do anything, and are jealous of other people’s parents because they do things like play in a town football game. Scout talks to Mrs. Maudie about it, and she tells him all the things he can do. A little later in the book, Scout and Jem find out that Atticus is the sharpest shooter in a all of Maycomb county. Scout feels guilty about thinking that her father couldn’t do anything. Then, near the end of the book, Scout realizes how good of a man her father is. She is told how he is the only man in Maycomb who will “be a Christian” when it is really needed, because he is the one standing up