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self awareness


haley f #54813
Feb 29, 2008 10:01 PM

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self awareness

How is self awareness used in the book? Mostly with the children.

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coco s #17435
Mar 01, 2008 7:52 PM

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Scout must learn to find her own conscience and not follow the traditions and the reputations of Maycomb.  Examples:

Rumor has it that Arthur Radley is a "malevolent phantom."  Scout comes to know that he is a decent yet shy man who really does a lot of good and who saves her and Jem's lives.

Every family in Maycomb carries a reputation--Delafields cannot be trusted, Haverfords are jacka$$es, etc.  The children come to learn that people are individuals.

People say Dolphus Raymond is a drunk, when in reality he is just pretending.  He is too weak to stand up to the criticism of "n-lover," so he lives a lie.  In contrast, Atticus does the right thing in a very public way by defending Tom in court, and he takes the "punishment" of the town but stands his ground.

Mrs. Dubose insists on dying free of morphine, and instead of seeing her as a mean, crabby old lady, the children come to see her as courageous in her own way.

Mayella Ewell is seen as trash because of her father and her family reputation, but Scout begins to feel a little sorry for her because she is "as sad as a mixed child."

There are many other examples of this in the novel.  Basically, people are people and we must all form our own interpretations of each person and thereby form our own consciences.

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