What ideas does the author develop regarding an individual's response to change? Explain with support and details from the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Thanks.

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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This is a great question. Change is good, especially when things are not well. In Maycomb where people are racist and injustice is the rule of the day when it comes to race, change is welcome. However, the problem in Maycomb is that people do take change well. So, Lee portrays those who are willing to change as positive. 

For example, Mr. Cunningham comes off well when Scout confronts him. Mr. Cunningham came to his senses when he saw the innocence of a little girl. This led him to change his course of action. Here is what Atticus says about the change Mr. Cunningham went through.

“So it took an eight-year-old child to bring ‘em to their senses, didn’t it?” said Atticus. “That proves something—that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they’re still human. Hmp, maybe we need a police force of children... you children last night made Walter Cunningham stand in my shoes for a minute. That was enough.”

Other people also changed. Atticus changed at the end of the story as well. He realized that it was better to say that Bob Ewell fell on his knife - rather than drag Boo Radley into the spotlight. Sometimes the spirit of the law is better than the letter of the law. 

On the flip side, those who do not change are seen negatively - like the Ewells and the majority of Maycomb. 

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iwillwin0906's profile pic

iwillwin0906 | eNotes Newbie

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Would Jem be also considered to be changed? Because he realized that in his cocoon analogy that people aren't what they seem.

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