How is To Kill a Mockingbird an "education" novel?I am going to write about Jem's journey; Harper Lee's decision to not make Jem a copy of Atticus; the author's use of Scout as the narrator...

How is To Kill a Mockingbird an "education" novel?

I am going to write about Jem's journey; Harper Lee's decision to not make Jem a copy of Atticus; the author's use of Scout as the narrator (adult and child); and the connection between prejudice and lack of education.

I just need help on what to put in each category, like the events or a quotation as I am getting a bit confused on what to put in each.

Thanks.

Asked on by wooleyc

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Harper Lee's leads the reader on a two-year journey of discovery as seen through the eyes of the young Scout. Allowing Scout to tell her tales from both a child's present day perspective and from that of an adult in the future gives the reader different and varying aspects to consider. When Scout the child describes events that she does not totally understand, the reader sometimes has to read between the lines in order to establish the truth for himself. In this manner, it becomes an education for the reader as well.

Jem's journey is even more emotional than Scout's. In addition to dealing with the onset of puberty, Jem (unlike Scout) still has to deal with the memories and loss of his mother. The author chooses to allow Atticus to give Jem a streak of independence, rather than making Jem a clone of the young Atticus. The two are probably not that different, but Atticus does not attempt to mold Jem in his image; rather, he tries to set him on a straight path that will eventually lead to success. The children's exposure to--and the understanding of--the racism around them and the deficiencies of public education are just two examples of social problems that still affect people in the 21st century. Reading To Kill a Mockingbird becomes a historical lesson on life in the Deep South in the 1930s--a prime reason that the novel is a requirement for many public schools around the United States.

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