Big Question: Education & Atticus
An exploration of how Atticus helps answer my Big Question: What impact does one's education have on an individual?
What impact does one's education have on an individual? As explained through the character Atticus
Atticus proves that moral education is also an important part to the growth of an individual.
First of all, if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.
Atticus also challenges Jem and Scout to question their previously held beliefs and perceptions. For example, in making Jem read to Mrs. Dubose, Atticus lays the foundation for Jem to question his definition of true courage and how to show compassion to people whom one may perceive as undeserving.
Atticus understands the impact of one's formal and informal education on their values and beliefs. When Atticus talks to Jack, he stresses his hope that his children come to him for answers, so that they get the moral lessons he advocates over what they hear at school and in town.
I want to get them through this without them catching Maycomb's "disease."
The courtroom scene proves better than anything else that experience is often the best teacher. Scout and Jem learn the hypocrisies of the town, and the innocence shattering lesson that truth and justice are not absolute in the face of bias.
As Atticus explains to the kids later, Scout was able to make Mr. Cunningham remember that not only is he human, but that so is Atticus. Having been in a mob, Mr. Cunningham had forgotten. Scout teaches Mr. Cunningham true compassion, a motif that Lee suggests trumps any kind of other education.
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