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 cout'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
what 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
book 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
as if his skin had been washed off. Ladies are a very delicate, clean, nice,
continually changing girls to ladies, named, 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