Sunteți pe pagina 1din 5

Lora 1

Mirari Lora

Ms. Woelke

Pre-AP English 9

29 May 2019

Should ​To Kill a Mockingbird​ Continue to be Taught?

Lately there has been many controversies about certain books, including Harper Lee’s

classic, ​To Kill a Mockingbird​. ​To Kill a Mockingbird​ includes many lessons and themes that are

relevant to our society and prepare adolescents for the prejudices and inequalities of ‘the real

world’. It follows the point of view of a young girl, her older brother, and her father who as a

lawyer defends an African American man of raping a white woman during the Great Depression.

Because of the theme and language found in the book, many argue that it should be banned from

schools and libraries. Although Lee’s novel does include an excessive amount of strong

language, overall the lessons about inequalities between races and genders eventually overweight

the concerns that some parents have. Banning this type of book that allows and encourages

critical thinking, should be considered a form of censorship. In major societies like ours,

censorship blinds us of the truth and therefore manipulates our opinions on major subjects

including racial inequalities and gender roles. The positives of this book outweigh the temporary

negatives. Overall ​To Kill a Mockingbird s​ hould be taught at schools because it allows and

encourages students to think critically, it teaches students important lessons they will use

everyday in order to understand others and stop prejudicism, and lastly it prepares kids for “the

real world”.

To Kill A Mockingbird h​ as important and life-changing lessons for students who


Lora 2

eventually have a change of perspective as well, but those lessons don’t come as easily as it

seems.If we look past the initial discomfort, we realize that the book gives us much to think

about because it “explores themes of racial injustice, gender roles, and the loss of innocence”

(Source A). The novel establishes the amount of change that the readers have, especially in

perspective, after having little to no idea how extremely prejudice our society was at a time.

Overall preparing students for the lessons and experiences they’ll gain after exposing themselves

to a world without censorship and therefore allowing them to protect themselves. Hiding the

oppression in this book that replicates our past makes us uncomfortable but instead, “we need to

embrace that discomfort in order to really appreciate the lessons of prejudice and inequality that

it wants our children to learn”(Source B). Understanding why these topics of oppression cause us

to be uncomfortable are important because, this discomfort is coming from our subconscious

which reaches out to tell us that all these acts in the U.S’s past need to stay in the past. Students

start understanding that this book is real and happened in our past frequently, which allows these

same students to mature progressively and understand the power of their words and actions.

Overall, ​To Kill A Mockingbird ​provides kids with the perfect amount of literature to critically

think for themselves and then eventually mature with a new perspective of the world that they

live in today.

Most people who are yearning to see ​To Kill A Mockingbird​ banned, use the excuse of

discomfort for their child, but discomfort helps us grow and critically think so why wouldn’t we

want our children to have the best and most efficient education possible? In Source C’s cartoon it

shows a character from ​To Kill A Mockingbird​, Atticus, who explains to a character resembling

the main character but supposed to be the ‘Biloxi Schools’, that “the one thing that doesn’t abide
Lora 3

by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” gaining a response of “but Atticus, having a

conscience makes me uncomfortable”. This is a way of mocking these schools for not being

aware or being ignorant towards all the great lessons ​To Kill A Mockingbird​ offers. It also mocks

them for repeatedly using discomfort as an excuse to stop helping students educate themselves

and broaden their awareness. Not only this but, “​To Kill A Mockingbird​ was voted by viewers as

America’s #1 best-loved novels in The Great American Read” (Source D). Showing how bold

and greatly loved To Kill A Mockingbird is and how many Americans learned a few lessons and

strengthened their moral compass. In it’s time (and today) ​To Kill A Mockingbird​ shocked so

many people and changed the way they thought about racial and gender equality, it shined a light

on society and made people who had previously turned a blind eye, think about how society had

changed their views on others without even knowing them; it made readers consider that their

society was wrong, and should be changed which is a hard pill to swallow but one that is

necessary to stop any type of inequality or prejudice. ​To Kill A Mockingbird​ needs to be taught at

schools because kids spend up to 12 years in mandatory schooling, so why not give them the

education so they can learn about their own self-integrity and values along with career choices,

so we can create more well-rounded everyday citizens.

As mentioned before, some people are eager to see ​To Kill A Mockingbird​ banned for

several reasons involving discomfort and the level of maturity. Some explain their opinions by

declaring that “​To Kill A Mockingbird​ is not a children’s book. It is an adult fairy tale, that is

often read by children in wildly different- and sometimes profoundly damaging- ways” (Source

E).These readers of ​To Kill A Mockingbird​ see the novel as all the n-words it uses and the

surface-level themes instead of the constant learning and critical thinking it offers children. On
Lora 4

top of that, they expect children to learn about the regular inequalities in our past (and today!)

without guiding them through it and letting students process it in a healthy way that makes sure

they know that these inequalities are wrong. ​To Kill A Mockingbird​ should continue to be taught

because, “we always argue that we want education to prepare kids for ‘the real world,’ but the

truth is that the real world is filled with its own share of inequalities and injustices” (Source B).

To Kill A Mockingbird​ prepares students by showing some of the inequalities of life without

censorship. Censorship blinds us from the truth, and the truth is not everything is as peaceful as

we want for our children and at some point they will start realizing the world is much different

than they thought and they will be shocked and surprised that their own parents or teachers didn’t

truly prepare them for it. Teaching ​To Kill A Mockingbird ​allows students to understand the

inequalities and prejudices in our past and how they affect society in a racist and sexist way

although not always apparent.

In conclusion, ​To Kill A Mockingbird​ should be taught to 9th graders nationally because

they show the best level of maturity while also being innocent and wide-eyed towards the topic

of inequality. The novel also has constant lessons about having a good conscience and having

moral values. While developing characters in the novel, it also transforms readers and students

into more mature and delicately profound people. ​To Kill A Mockingbird​ encourages critical

thinking while educating kids about ‘the real world’ filled with racial and gender based injustices

and prejudices. It demonstrates the loss of innocence through Scout and Jem and also through

readers themselves. On top of this, it has been shown that most schools beginning to ban ​To Kill

A Mockinbird ​are mostly in the south, which have an extreme past of racism and sexism. This

could not be a coincidence. Overall ​To Kill A Mockingbird​ prepares students for the world they’ll
Lora 5

encounter after leaving home and pursuing their own careers. To Kill A Mockingbird allows

students to break out of their shelves and become young adults who are capable of critical

thinking and that are regularly involved in our society. It shapes and molds everyday citizens that

are involved in society and politics enough to care about human rights. These citizens are

self-aware and will change our perspectives about the grand-scale of inequalities because they

were educated and allowed to think about what they learned in honest and