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Scout and Jem become aware of the prejudice throughout their community and realize Boo Radley is a caring, selfless individual. Atticus teaches his children many important lessons such as, the importance of perspective; being courageous when faced with adversity; why harming innocent human beings is wrong, and how to make the morally correct choice during difficult times.
Harper Lee uses the character of Scout, who is 6 when the novel begins, to tell a story of how her father, Atticus, defends Tom Robinson, and how she explores the existence of her reclusive neighbor, Boo Radley, in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930's. Throughout the novel, Scout learns valuable lessons from her father, which include: how to view situations from other people's point of view; the existence of prejudice and injustice in the world; why it's wrong to harm innocent people; what "real" courage is, and the importance of being true to oneself.
The novel tells the story of a young brother and sister growing up in Depression-era Alabama and their own evolution as the lives of others evolve around them. The children learn about the importance of tolerance toward others; that people--and appearances--aren't always what they seem; that hypocrisy and racism is a fact of life that is best observed and not practiced; and that justice is not always served: They grow up faster than most, and their loss of innocence robs them of some valuable childhood years, but they also discover the value of their father's good judgement and that their own life experiences provide them with lessons far greater than what they can learn in a classroom.
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