How are the characters Scout, Jem and Calpurnia, in the book To Kill a Mockingbird, free thinkers?   

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Calpurnia instructs Scout that she shouldn't treat people differently because they come from less money. When Scout mocks Walter Cunningham, Jr., Cal tells her that even if her family is "better" (more educated) than the Cunninghams, it makes no difference if she is going to be rude to Walter. Cal recognizes that Maycomb is divided along racial lines. And she knows that living in both worlds (black and white), she must have two ways of talking. Still, Cal is able to live in both worlds and occasionally creates a bridge between them. When Tom is killed, she goes with Atticus to break the news to Tom's wife and family. Cal also takes Jem and Scout to her church. Even though some members, namely Lula, disapprove of bringing white children to the church, the majority of them welcome Scout and Jem. A bridge is created and this leaves Scout even more curious about Cal's other life. At the end of Chapter 12, Scout asks if she can come visit Cal at her own home. 

Both Scout and Jem are free thinkers because their father has taught to be open-minded, but also because they are children. In the example above, Scout shows her ability to grasp the racial division in Maycomb and she ignores it by asking to visit Cal. There are other moments where Scout shows she is open to learning new things in spite of Maycomb's prejudices. One of the largest lessons she learns is to consider the perspectives of others. She, Jem, and Dill once mocked Boo Radley, but by the end of the book, she learns to look at the world through his eyes. 

Likewise, Jem considers the class system in Maycomb, the different races, and how people with different incomes behave and how they are treated. Following Tom's conviction, which really upsets Jem, he is frustrated with these social divisions and prejudices. At the end of Chapter 23, he also has a revelation that maybe Boo disapproves of Maycomb's shortcomings as well: 

“That’s what I thought, too,” he said at last, “when I was your age. If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand something. 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.” 

Calpurnia instructs scout that she shouldn't treat people differently because they come from less money. When Scout mocks Walter Cunningham, Jr., Cal tells her that even if her family is "better" (more educated) than the Cunninghams, it makes no difference if she is going to be rude to Walter. Cal recognizes that Maycomb is divided along racial lines. And she knows that in living in both worlds (black and white), she must have two ways of talking. Still, Cal is able to live in both worlds and occasionally create a bridge between them. When Tom is killed, she goes with Atticus to break the news to Tom's wife and family. Cal also takes Jem and Scout to her church. Even though some members, namely Lula, disapprove of bringing white children to the church, the majority welcome Scout and Jem. A bridge is created and this leaves Scout even more curious about Cal's other life. At the end of Chapter 12, Scout asks if she can come visit Cal at her own home. 

Both Scout and Jem are free thinkers because their father has taught to be open-minded, but also because they are children. In the example above, Scout shows her ability to grasp the racial division in Maycomb and she ignores it by asking to visit Cal. There are other moments where Scout shows she is open to learning new things in spite of Maycomb's prejudices. One of the largest lessons she learns is to consider the perspectives of others. She, Jem, and Dill once mocked Boo Radley, but by the end of the book, she learns to look at the world through his eyes. 

Likewise, Jem considers the class system in Maycomb, the different races, and how people with different incomes behave and how they are treated. Following Tom's conviction, which really upsets Jem, he is frustrated with these social divisions. 

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