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I need a thesis statement about prejudice, courage and racism in To Kill a Mockingbird...

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cathayou | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 17, 2012 at 2:12 AM via web

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I need a thesis statement about prejudice, courage and racism in To Kill a Mockingbird and the development of characters in the novel.

My characters are Atticus and Scout.

The essay question is:

How does harper lee use the development of characters to convey significant ideas in the novel TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD?

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 28, 2013 at 3:51 PM (Answer #1)

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Another way to pose this question is to ask how Scout and Atticus relate to the ideas of prejudice, racism, and courage in their development in the novel.

Scout demonstrates a growing awareness of the unfairness and injustice that is indemic to her society, yet resists any agreement with these tendencies. Early in the novel she is quick to judgement (see the example of her treatment of the young Cunningham) and participant in popular bias and prejudice.

As the novel goes on, Scout learns from her experiences and from Atticus that prejudice is often misguided and wrong-headed and that defeating poor judgement takes moral effort. Prejudice will not defeat itself. People have to do the work of changing their own behavior and their own thinking, then demonstrate those changes. 

Atticus provides an example of how this is done. Scout follows his lead. 

From her treatment of Walter Cunningham to her final understanding of Boo Radley, Scout demonstrates that her development has taken place along moral lines. 

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