How is Scout taught the lesson of "evil in the world" in To Kill a Mockingbird?I have to write an essay on the question that I'm asking...

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During a break from the Tom Robinson trial, Scout and Dill both get a lesson about the evil that lurks in the world from none other than Dolphus Raymond--a man with one of the worst reputations in Maycomb. After Dill had become upset about Tom Robinson's treatment by the prosecuting attorney (who repeatedly referred to Tom as "boy"), the two children took a break outside. There they found Raymond, sipping from his bottle in a bag. They found Raymond to be a curious man, and they soon saw that one of his supposed vices--drinking whiskey hidden in a bag--was just unfounded gossip. They also learned that Dolphus prefers living with black people. He tells Dill that when he gets older, he won't cry as easily as he does now.

     "Cry about what, Mr. Raymond?" Dill's maleness was beginning to assert itself.
     "Cry about the simple hell people give other people--without even thinking. Cry about the hell white people give colored folks, without even stopping to think that they're people, too"

Mr. Raymond tells the children to just go back into the courthouse to see some of the evil that is seated inside.

There are many other examples of Scout's discovery about the evil of the world. She sees the hypocrisy in her teacher, Miss Gates, and in the women of the Missionary Circle. She sees the injustice in the accusations by the Ewells against the innocent Robinson and the jury's racial hatred in their verdict. She comes to recognize that Boo's family had cruelly mistreated him. Later, Scout will become a victim of Bob Ewell's own evil motive of revenge.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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