To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Deceptive Appearances

Many of the characters in the novel are not what they truly seem to be. Most would write off Boo Radley as a reclusive madman, Miss Dubose as a mean spirited old woman, and Dolphous Raymond as a social deviant. These people are reviled by most, but these are not fair judgments. Once we get beyond the gossip surrounding these people, we get a clear view of some very strong human beings.

Jem hates Ms. Dubose so much for what she says that he destroys her bushes. But when forced to spend time with her, he finds her a more acceptable person. And when Atticus points out that she overcoming a morphine addiction, we see that Ms. Dubose was a woman of tremendous strength and character. She was not going to spend her last days as a drug addict, and despite the pain that caused her, she succeeded.

Dolphous Raymond, so easily written of as a drunk who lives among Negroes, is not what they town has painted him. True, he does live among the black community, but there is nothing wrong with that. He has seen the true nature of the white residents of Maycomb and would rather live among a people he sees as honest. And his bottle of alcohol is nothing more than soda.

And we already know about Boo Radley. Despite his exile from the town, he risks going out in order to save the children. These are all characters who challenge how we judge others, which is just what Harper Lee wanted. Despite how easy it is to judge others, once you look closer, you see something more in everyone. The Finches do this and they gain new friends and invaluable insight into others because of this. No one is what they truly seem, and everyone has something inside them that motivates them to be who they are. One must look closely to see this, and the Finches do just that.

Contents