I have to write an opinion piece on the stance "Older people generally don't understand much about younger people." Can you help?
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While it probably will be easier for you to defend the con side of this statement, you can still concur with the opinion as there are also characters in To Kill a Mockingbird who exemplify the lack of understanding on the part of the older people. Certainly, Dill's mother is one of those who exhibits a lack of compassion and love, let alone understanding. Mr. Nathan Radley is another; he callously plugs the hole in the tree, denying Boo a simple pleasure, as well as Scout and Jem. Then, there is Mrs. DuBose who insults the children's father with no concern for their feelings. Miss Caroline's compassion to the young is not exactly bountiful, either.
While it's an interesting idea, I'd have to say that the opposite is generally true in this novel--most of the adults do seem to understand and relate to the young people (Jem, Scout, and Dill) in this novel. Scout, in particular, doesn't always recognize that, but as the more mature readers, we should see it. Here are a few examples:
Atticus - he knows Scout will want to fight back when things get hard and name-calling happens; he knows the kids are confused by all the family heritage stuff Aunt Alexandra tells them, he knows Scout will "die" if she has to quit reading; he knows they are playing Boo Radley games on the front lawn; he hides a smile when they create the Miss Maudie look-alike snowman; he knows they're upset by the name-calling of Mrs. Dubose; he doesn't try to shield them from the harsher realities of this trial or of the prejudices in their town.
Miss Maudie - she treats Scout as her confidante when Scout has fallen out of Calpurnia's good graces; she talks about the Boo Radley story with truth rather than silly and misleading gossip; she includes the kids in her baking projects; she talks with Jem after the trial as an adult; she serves at the Ladies Missionary Tea with Scout and treats her as an equal; and when Jem has reached a new level of maturity after the trial she cuts him a slice of the "adult" cake, showing him in a tangible way that he is becoming a man.
Dolphus Raymond - he shares his "drinking" secret with the kids; he commiserates with them when they are upset by the unfairness of the trial.
There are undoubtedly more, but I think the list of adults who don't "get" these young people would be considerably shorter than the list of those who do.
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