In To Kill a Mockingbird, what are 3 situations that exemplify Atticus's advice about not judging a person "until you consider things from his point of view" and "until you climb into his skin and...

In To Kill a Mockingbird, what are 3 situations that exemplify Atticus's advice about not judging a person "until you consider things from his point of view" and "until you climb into his skin and walk around in it"?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The wise advice of Atticus Finch to his daughter is none other than his encouraging her to become objective, rather than subjective, in her judgments of people, such as she is in her cursory remark to Calpurnia that Walter is not their "company" when Jem invites him to have lunch: "He ain't company, Cal, he's just a Cunningham--"

This objectivity is also a lesson reinforced by Miss Maudie who tells the Finch children that Boo Radley would come out of his house if he wanted. There are others who are not objective at first, but they learn to "consider things from [others']points of view" and to "climb into [their] skin."

1. SCOUT

During the trial of Tom Robinson, Jem, Scout, and Dill sit in the balcony with the black people because there are no other seats. When Mayella Ewell is called to the witness stand, Scout pays close attention, and after Mayella completes her testimony, Scout who has found Mayella despicable in her false claims against Tom, nevertheless is objective enough about the girl to "climb into her skin" in order to comment while Tom is on the witness stand, 

As Tom Robinson gave his testimony, it came to me that Mayella Ewell must have been the loneliest person in the world.

2. DILL

Dill Harris changes from boy who does not care about the feelings of Boo Radley when he convinces Jem to sneak onto the Radley porch. For, during the trial of Tom Robinson as Mr. Gilmer goads Tom into revealing that he "felt sorry" for Mayella, then turning this phrase against him as effrontery on the part of a "Negro" to feel superior to a white, Dill becomes so upset at Mr. Gilmer's cruelty and unfairness that he begins crying and cannot stop. So, Scout walks outside with Dill.

"That old Mr. Gilmer...talking so hateful to him....The way that man called him 'boy' all the time and sneered at him, an' looked around at the jury every time he answered--"

"Well, Dill, after all he's just a Negro."

"I don't care one speck. It ain't right....Hasn't anybody got any business talkin' like that--it just makes me sick."

Having begun to see things objectively, Dill has "climbed" into Tom's "skin" and empathizes with the man, sensing the injustice to him.

3. MR. UNDERWOOD

When the children enter the courtroom, Mr. Braxton Underwood sees them as he "allowed his bitter eyes to rove over the Colored balcony"; he then "gave a snort and looked away," for Scout knows that he has a dislike for blacks. 

She is later surprised, then, when Mr. Underwood writes an editorial in the local paper after Tom's trial that castigates people for condemning him. In Chapter 25, Scout narrates that Mr. Underwood 

...was at his most bitter....[he] simply figured it was a sin to kill cripples, be they standing, sitting, or escaping. He likened Tom's death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children, and Maycomb thought he was trying to write an editorial poetical enought to be reprinted in The Montgomery Advertiser.

Clearly, Mr. Underwood has considered things from others' points of view.

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