To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee: What It Feels Like To Walk Around In Someone Else’s Skin

April 27, 2022 by Essay Writer

“Goodness exists in powerful and unexpected forms just as evil does”. Every human being is capable of doing good things for themselves and others as well a bad and terrible things it is just a matter of choice and circumstances how we decide to act.“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view and until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”[pg.30] Scout puts herself in Walter Cunningham, Boo Radley and Miss Caroline Fisher shoes in order to understand their point of view and why they behave the way they do.

Arthur Radley known as “Boo” was considered the mysterious neighbor and was portrayed as a crazy person who never left his house. Boo was thought as a scary creepy person in the start of the book, imprisoned by his father in his own house and accused of killing him. Nobody ever dared to pursue the Radley residence for many years Boo would just sit in his house all day. Until one day three young children named Jem, Scout, and Dill tried to lure him out of his house by playing a game they liked to call “the Boo Radley game” which seemed very exciting for the kids since they had nothing else to do. Atticus, Scout’s father was not happy about it he mentioned ‘ Stop tormenting that man.

That goes for the other two of you. What Mr. Radley did was his own business.”[pg.49]. Later in the story it is understood that Boo Radley is showing an act of kindness by putting gifts in a hollow tree, an attempt to show kindness and in a way socialize with scout and Dill and trying to slowly proof he is not a bad man. Jem mentions “I think i’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time… it’s because he wants to stay inside.”[Pg. 227]. It turns out Mr.Radley was scared to leave his house because everyone in maycomb didn’t like him. This helps Scout understand that nobody should ever judge a person by the things that you heard about them and instead think about how it would feel to walk in their skin for a day.

Mrs. Maudie Atkinson becomes a close friend to Scout and talks about Boo when they were children Scout discovers that“Arthur Radley when he was a boy. He always spoke nicely as he knew how.” [pg.46] Miss Maudie also mentioned when Arthur was young he was polite and friendly boy who was abused by his father. This helps reveal the other side of Boo not the crazy and scary guy that the neighbors know him as. This helps Scout know a little bit more about Arthur as a whole a helping scout and the other children understand that boo radley isn’t really a bad guy. At the end of the book Boo shows his true colors as caring, brave and righteous man. Ewell a white man who helped lie about a big trial rape case that ended up being all false claims.

There was strong evidence that Ewell has been physically abusing his daughter mayella so his behavior was held up for everyone to see at the courtroom. Mr Ewell was infuriated he wanted to get revenge on Atticus, [the lawyer at the court case] for making him look really bad so instead of fighting a full grown man he went for his children which were much more vulnerable. Ewell attempts to proceed with his revenge to try to attack scout and jem this is when scout and jem were wearing their halloween that’s when Boo radley comes and proceeds to save the day. “but only after does she observe, ‘He was carrying Jem’ [pg.263]. Not only does he save the children by killing Mr.Ewell, but also by carrying Jem back to Atticus. When Boo Radley emerges and saves Jem and Scout. This action by Boo shows he is a nice guy and stands up for what is right.

Miss Caroline Fisher is known as Scouts school teacher. she is mentioned only in chapter 2 but her actions towards Scout made her worthy of mention. Scout is excited for starting school where all of the kids are expected to learn how to read. To Miss Caroline’s surprise Scout already was taught by her dad how to read. This news makes Miss Fisher act displeased and makes Scout feel guilty for being educated. Jem mentioned “Our teacher says Miss Caroline’s introducing a new way of teaching. She learned about it in college”. [pg.18]. Miss Caroline first mistake has occurred Miss Caroline is mad because Scout is over educated. Scout really thinks her method of teaching is insufficient. So Scout is learning she is not the one who should feel guilty rather it being Miss Caroline for inefficient teaching styles.

The teachers second mistake was trying to tell Burris Ewell to go home and wash out his ‘cooties.’When Miss Caroline finds lice in the boy’s hair, she tells him “I want you to go home and wash your hair with lye soap.” [pg.26] If he wanted to attend school he would have to do this the boy Burris got mad and as he mentioned “You ain’t sending’ me home, missus. I was on the verge of leaving this year.” [pg.27] Burris doesn’t have the money to take a shower or buy the shampoo he only comes to school once a year and like CunningHams works on a farm. Scout learns that the entire Ewell family lives like animals and that Miss Caroline expects everyone to be able to afford stuff they really can’t.

Lastly Miss Caroline asks everyone to pull out there lunches Walter CunningHam is very poor he didn’t have a lunch he normally never brings a lunch ever and the teacher asks where is your lunch he says he forgot it but that was a lie So the teacher offers the boy 25 cents to buy him a lunch but he refuses the offer because he is very poor so the Scout stands up for him and mentioned “walter’s one of the Cunninghams, Miss Caroline,” [Pg.20] what Scout is referring here to is that you don’t know a lot about maycomb yet and the people here but you’ll start to get there. Scout gains a little bit of confidence from standing up to the teacher.

Walter Cunningham is a boy from a large and poor family who is Scout classmate. He never normally bring food to eat during lunch as usual but Miss Fisher tries to give him money and ask him to pay her back later. Walter does not say anything and Scout explains to the teacher that he will not be able to pay her back and that he will not take the money either way since they do not even pay her father with money. Scout gets in trouble and later she rubs “ Catching Walter CunningHam in the schoolyard gave me some pleasure, but when I was rubbing his nose in the dirt.” [pg.22]. But what Scout needs to realize is that it really wasn’t his fault when in reality Scout needed to learn to let the boy speak for himself.

Secondly the one who Scout is later taught by is his father Atticus. Walter is not as smart as Scout because Walter mentions… “ The reason I can’t pass the first grade, Mr. Finch, is I’ve had to stay out ever’ spring an’ help Papa with the choppin” [pg.24] so Scout learns a very valuable lesson that you really can’t be judged on how they look or dress or even act until you watch them from there point of view intelligent or as lucky to not have to work all the time as scout have to take consideration how for example Walter was raised.

Walter ends up eating dinner at Scout’s house and she criticizes him because he puts molasses on his meat and vegetables. Again Scout get scold and told to be a better hostess by Miss Calpurnia tells Scout “He ain’t company, Cal, he’s just a Cunningham-” “Hush your mouth! Don’t matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house’s yo’ comp’ny, and don’t you catch you remarkin”. {Pg 24]. Scout learns not to judge people so harshly, Walter behaves the way he does because he does not know any better and Scout finally learns to respect that.

In conclusion, Scout puts herself in Walter Cunningham, Boo Radley and Miss Caroline Fisher shoes in order to understand their point of view and why they behave the way they do. She means well and her intentions are good. She learns that there is more to people than just what the people say. Boo is not crazy nor a bad man. He tries to be kind to the children and ends up saving their lives. Miss Fisher is just an inexperienced teacher that does not know what to do with someone that already knows what she is supposed to teach and does not know the social structure of the town.

Lastly, Walter is a poor boy who behaves accordingly to his social status and does not share the same social status of Scout, therefore his behavior is different than Scouts. Atticus helps Scout to learn how to see people from a different perspective and not judge people right away. At the end Scout believes that there could be good and evil in any person you just need to give yourself the opportunity to find it.


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