Mockingbird Essay, Research Paper
Common Human Experiences
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 around her.