Themes In To Kill A Mockingbird

Some books are written to prove a point or some sort of idea. The novel, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, is an excellent example of proving a point or a theme. Themes in the book include courage, lady, standing in another man’s shoes, it’s not time to worry, education, and trash. All the themes stand out, however, three in particular are exemplified in the book. The three main themes in To Kill a Mockingbird are courage, lady, and standing in another man’s shoes. The first theme is courage. Courage is apparent in the seemingly wicked Mrs. Dubose.

It is also courage for Jem to strive against Mrs Dubose. According to Atticus, the children’s father courage is, “… when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. “(p112) Mrs. Dubose had great courage trying to get over her morphine addiction and, even though she would have trouble doing it, bumped the addiction for the rest of her life. In the beginning of the book, when Dill, Scout, and Jem were still hyped up over Boo Radley Jem showed the ultimate courage by venturing into the spooky dwelling place inhabited by Boo Radley.

Jem went through the gate and touched the house. One time, all three went into the Radley yard to simply look inside Boo’s window. However, the children were frightened near death by a warning shot from Nathan Radley. The real courage comes after that when Jem goes to reclaim his pants, facing a possible confrontation with Boo or Nathan. Another example of courage is Atticus defending Tom Robinson, a black man who is innocent of rape but is tried because Bob Ewell said Tom did it. Atticus knew he would be defeated but he tried to win the case anyway.

Also, though the book doesn’t really mention the way Scout is not happy in school, it requires great courage for Scout to continue to go to school even though she has to deal with a bad first grade teacher. Lee’s point in courage is a person is not defeated until the person loses faith and gives up. The second theme in the book is lady. One of the people of this theme is Scout’s Aunt Alexandra, who is constantly scolding Atticus for allowing Scout to do unladylike things. Miss Maudie, the town’s resident botanist, is a lady who Scout’s uncle is always after.

Once when Scout is being asked hat she thinks her occupation would be, she answers, “Just a lady. “(p230) Being a lady also has to deal with the types of clothes worn by the lady. On page 81 Scout thought, “I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches;” Ladies are supposed to wear dresses instead of masculine clothes like shirts and pants. A lady also has a different type of appearance. After Scout punches Francis her ring finger is cut. Uncle Jack commented about how Scout’s finger will have an unladylike scar on it. Another comment on the cleanliness is in the beginning of the book.

Ladies wash about noon and by night are covered in sweat and talc powder. Ladies in the town tried to keep clean all day long. Next, ladies cannot bear rough language. This is shown when some boys locked Mr. Conner in an outhouse. The boys were sentenced for disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, assault and battery, and using profane language within earshot of a female. This shows that ladies are delicate to profane language. Being a lady also deals with the title given to the lady. Some ladies are addressed by “Miss” or “Ma’am” However, one female in the ook isn’t really a lady.

Mayella Ewell was raised by pigs, lived in filth, and had no true “lady schooling” from another lady like her mother, unlike Scout. When Atticus was talking to Mayella on the stand, she believed Atticus was mocking her. “Long’s he keeps on calling’ me ma’am an sayin’ Miss Mayella. I don’t hafta take his sass, I ain’t called upon to take it. ” However, Mayella has a slightly ladylike side that is as evident as her skin. In the beginning of the trial, Mayella appears like she bathes often while her father appeared s if his skin had been washed off.

Ladies are a very delicate, clean, nice, continually changing girls to ladies, n amed, and specifically dressed. Lee’s point on ladies is ladies have a taboo on certain things men dismiss as usual. Ladies are different from men in many different ways. The final theme in To Kill a Mockingbird is standing in another man’s shoes. Atticus describes truly knowing somebody by saying, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. age 30)

Atticus was referring to the new and ignorant teacher, Miss Caroline, who doesn’t know how to deal with problem children. Another example of standing in another man’s shoes is on page 57 when Scout tries to understand Jem’s moodiness. Scout later found that Jem had gone to retrieve his pants after losing them at the Radley place. Jem was acting strange because he found his pants folded and sewed up. The next example of standing in another man’s shoes is when the Cunningham’s went to the jailhouse to kill Tom and possibly Atticus.

Scout makes the Cunninghams look at things from Atticus’ point of view. Scout ended up in helping her dad deal with an angry lynch-gang. The next example of standing in another man’s shoes is wh en Bob Ewell spat in Atticus’ face and said he was going to get him. Atticus told Jem to look at things from Bob’s point of view and to see how Atticus ruined Bob’s reputation. The final example is when Scout was standing on the Radley front steps. She realized how they had taunted and punished Boo Radley all those years. She finally truly knew how Boo felt.

Lee’s point is no person can truly know another person without switching situations and seeing things from the other side. The three recurring themes in To Kill a Mockingbird are courage, lady, and standing in another man’s shoes. A theme in a book is important because it allows the author to pass along their views to the reader and helps to tell the story. The book To Kill a Mockingbird requires the themes to cross a valid point and to tell an interesting story to the reader. Lee’s overall point throughout the book is an that innocent thing is sometimes destroyed.