You need to have read thru chapter three of To Kill a Mockingbird to respond to this topic.  If you have NOT read thru chapter three, please do NOT read further (as it will spoil/give away information you haven't read yet).

  • When talking with Scout towards the end of chapter three, Atticus tells her, "If you can learn a simple trick, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks.  You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it" (Lee 39).  
  • Discuss and explore the meaning of this advice.  Why do so many people consider this a great piece of advice?  How might it apply to us today?  How could we use it in our everyday lives?  How is it like other texts we have read this past year?  (You do not need to answer all the questions--just explore Atticus' advice to his daughter.)

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People consider this great advice because people judge without knowing who people really are. Because of this, they only stay around people who they don't judge because they are the same. This is the reason people don't expand their circles. People are so stuck on the people who are the "same" as them, they judge everyone else. They judge because they don' put themselves in others shoes. They don't see other people's perspective of things. They aren't used to people who are different. This piece of advice from Atticus great because it's spreading the message that you should understand people's stories and their perspective of things, even when their different because you will get to know people from all different groups. When talking to Scout, he's also messaging that people should expand their circles and get to know all different kinds of people. In chapter two, scout has a new "affluent" teacher who is unfamiliar with Maycomb. There is a student named Walter Cunningham who is poor. Miss Caroline offers him lunch money not knowing he's less poor and doesn't accept money from people. When Scout explains this, Miss Caroline is closed minded and is quick to judge and thinks scout is lying and Miss Caroline says "hold out your hands" (Lee 21). "Miss Caroline picked up her ruler, gave me half dozen quick little pats, then told me to stand in the corner. (Lee 22). Because Miss Caroline was "rich" and Cunningham was the opposite, she didn't put herself in his shoes and think about how he was actually poor. Because she was born in a more affluent environment, her circle mainly consisted of affluent people like her. She didn't think Cunningham would be different, and even punished Scour for it.

I think the when Atticus tells Scout this piece of advice he is trying to imply that being empathetic is not something that can come naturally which is why he uses the word learn.When he uses the word learn he is telling her she on her own has to acquire the knowledge of the person she is trying to be empathetic towards in order to understand and share the feelings of that person. Atticus is also trying to tell his daughter that when being empathetic she can gain more diverse relationships with those who are different instead of having strong and diversified relationships with those who are the same.While we become empathetic we will be more comprehensive on how it feels to be judged by the color of skin, the way we dress,speak,religions,etc. Many might believe that this is a great piece of advice because it makes one more open-minded and makes one realize that making a change in their mindset can lead to a tremendous difference. We could use this in our everyday lives by eliminating the standard/conventional images we call stereotypes as a society to view individuals. I think this piece of evidence is beneficial to the youth of this generation especially in the world we live in today where children are taught what to believe.

i feel that this advice is great and can apply to all people at any time. This is telling people to not judge others but have empathy. Atticus is telling scout to not judge people like Miss Caroline for what she did but instead to try and understand them. When Atticus talks about the Ewells, he tells scout about why they don't have to go to school but she does, he says that,"The Ewells had been the disgrace of Maycomb for three generations. none of them had done an honest day's of work." (lee 30). Although it may seem very hypocritical of Atticus to say something negative about the Ewells after just talking to Scout about empathy, i feel that what he was trying to do was "get in their skin" and he felt that the Ewells were genuinely just brought up to be that way. If you look at it in the big picture you can see that he is not hating on the Ewell children, but being sorry for them because of how their dad acted. He even goes on tho describe Bob Ewell to scout talking about how he "spent his relief checks on green whiskey [while his children were] crying from hunger pains." (Lee 31) conclusively i feel that Atticus talking about the Ewlell children is an act of showing empathy and not just 'hating' on them. 

This piece of advise is telling people to be empathetic and consider things from a different point of view. people will never solve problems or arguments without considering the other perspective and being open-minded.Its not okay for people to judge others without considering their background or what would they do in their position. like miss Caroline when she  said " please bathe yourself before you come back tomorrow"(35). she didn't take a minute to think maybe the reason Burris was so filthy was because he had no way of getting clean. Its obvious on her part it was a honest mistake but next time she'll consider the reason why maybe the kid couldn't get clean. people usually tend to think that they know whats best and that they are motivated by love so it can be hard to consider whats motivating another person to do what their doing. This piece of advise is saying to be understanding before being judgmental.

This piece of advice is great to tell to someone because it is saying to get to know someone without making any assumptions based on appearance or what every the case is. We don't know why someone would steal or often wear the same clothes. But we judge them and say things like "you're a bad person" or "get some new clothes" because we are looking at them from our point of view instead of theirs. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Atticus tells Jem about Mrs. Dubose that "She had her own views about things, a lot different from mine, maybe... I wanted you to see something about her-I wanted you to see what real courage is." (Lee 112). Even after what Mrs. Dubose had said about Atticus, he didn't judge her on what she had said. Atticus actually found her as brave and he knew that she saw things differently than from his point of view. Everyone does something because of what has happened to them throughout life or trying to get attention sometimes. Atticus has told this to Scout and now to Jem; He seems to keep his words and let Scout and Jem learn from him. This advice will stick to our heads as we will interact with whomever to really understand him/her.
I agree with you on that it should be said to people so they won't make assumptions, but I believe that it is trying to tell us to get to know people rather than trying to keep them away because they think differently. If we don't know someone and see them do things that seem strange to us, we should try to understand why they are doing it, not know that they are doing it. It also helps us to understand how people think if we understand why they do the things they do on a daily basis. This is show when Jem, one of the main characters in Harper Lee's, To Kill a Mocking Bird, is going is to touch the Radley house, " He walked to the corner of the lot, then back again, studying the simple terrain as if deciding how best to effect an entry, " (Lee 15). If you were to see this randomly you would wonder why they are doing this and not trying to understand them. So you must ask them why they are doing it to understand their way of thinking and you would never try to understand them. That is why we must try and understand a person's actions.
After thinking about the quote and looking at what you've said, I do understand about what you've said. This is because I have known/been friends with you for years now. Though, that doesn't mean I can't disagree with you about some stuff (done it in a previous discussion) as I will always stay true to what I think. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Atticus tells Scout " untill you climb into his skin and walk around it" (Lee 30). I am aware this is what we are talking about but this part of the quote is what I have been missing the whole time. I never really understood that part until just now as I thought about it. It means to see things the way they do-experience what they experience. This is why I really think that the quote is meant to live on throughout generations for someone to also look up to.
I have to disagree with you there, we don't need to "climb into [their] skin and walk around in it," (Lee 39), we need to accept people for who they are. Sure it helps us accept them more easily, but it is not necessarily needed. Atticus tells Scout in Harper Lee's, To Kill a Mocking Bird, "If you can learn a simple trick, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks, " (Lee 39). To accept one another we must be open-minded. Putting ourselves in their shoes helps us become more open-minded as it broadens our view of the spectrum. That is why it is important to be able to accept one another.
I am starting to see it from your point of view and I know exactly what you mean. Most people will just accept them after meeting them. Which is what I am saying by everyone is forgetting about that part "climb to his skin and walk around it". I only think this is necessary towards people you are just getting to know but for others such as strangers, I think it is just better to accept him.
I believe this piece of advice Atticus gave Scout is to help her become a more accepting and open-minded human being. To accept people is a great trait because it will allow you to understand how people think. This is what Atticus is trying to teach Scout, a character is in Harper Lee's, To Kill a Mocking Bird, when he tells her, "If you can learn a simple trick, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it" (Lee 39). When we accept others we start to become more open-minded towards the people around us and we begin to make less assumptions. The less assumptions we make, the more open-minded we become, the more people we meet who are different allow us to understand how people differ from one another. That is how being accepting and open-minded is what Atticus was trying to teach Scout.



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