Common Human Experiences in To Kill A Mockingbird
In To Kill A Mockingbird there are three common human experiences. All of
these common human experiences act as learning experiences for the narrator of
the story, Scout.
The main common human experience of the novel is prejudice. Scout has many
confrontations with prejudice throughtout the novel. There are many levels and
divisions in the characters such as race, sex, and social status. With all of
these levels and divisions there is alot of prejudice in the novel.
The first prejudice in the story occurs at the Tom Robinson trial. Tom
Robinson does not recieve a fair trial because he is black and Mayella Ewell,
the woman Tom is accused of raping, is white. Atticus proves without a doubt
that Tom is innocent. But in a all white jury guilt or innocence is not
important to them the only thing that is important to them is that Tom Robinson
is black. Even if the jurors wanted to say that they beleived Tom was innocent
they would have to face the people of Maycomb and then they would be shunned
for letting a black man go free.
Boo Radley was also the victim of prejudice. The people of Maycomb county
did not understand Boo, he was not seen outside of his house and people did not
know what to think. They made up their own ideas of what he was like and made
him out to be some sort of monster. They pre-judged him because he was
different than they were. Scout later met Boo and discovered that there
judgements of him were false.
The second common human experience is courage. Atticus displays two different
types of courage in the novel. the first is a mental courage when he defends
Tom Robinson even though the chances of winning are almost hopeless. This act
is also couragous because he knows by defending Tom he will shunned by his
peers and people will see him as a traitor. The second type of courage is a
more physical act of courage when he shoots a charging mad dog.
The third common human experience of the story is a right of passage. Scout
goes through a right of passage and becomes more mature through a number of
learning experiences throughout the novel. She learns to look at situations
through other peoples eyes and Atticus taught her to respect all people
regardless of their color, sex or social status. These and many other
experiences help scout to achieve a better understanding of the enviroment