To Kill a Mockingbird

Atticus says that you never really understand a person “until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”. What does this mean? Is it an easy thing for Scout to learn? Chapter 3

Atticus says that you never really understand a person “until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”. What does this mean? Is it an easy thing for Scout to learn? (In the last chapter of the novel, Scout repeats this, but she changes “skin” to “shoes” - this is probably not a mistake: Harper Lee suggests that Scout cannot clearly recall exactly what Atticus said and when, but the reader can check this!)

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In Chapter 3, Atticus's patient teaching gives Scout a lesson that he says will help her "get along better with all kinds of folk": she has to remember to judge people on their intentions rather than their actions, and put herself into the other person's shoes in order to understand them best. The chapter establishes that Atticus can relate to all kinds of people, including poor farm children. The last sentence of the chapter, "Atticus was right," applies not only to his prediction that Jem will come down from his tree house if left alone, but also to most issues of character judgment. Atticus's opinions can usually be trusted, and he is convinced of the importance of dealing fairly and reasonably with all people, no matter what the circumstances.

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http://www.gradesaver.com/to-kill-a-mockingbird/study-guide/summary-chapters-1-6