Essay, Research Paper: To Kill A Mocking Bird And Goodness

Literature: To Kill a Mockingbird

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What is goodness? The American Heritage Dictionary defines goodness as “the
state or quality of being good”. In Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mocking
Bird goodness is a significant theme. This theme brings out the sense of
optimism and thoughtfulness in the book. The following paragraphs prove that in
fact goodness is a principal theme in To Kill a Mocking Bird. A chief
illustration of goodness is Miss Maudie Atkinson. She is the caring neighbor
everyone likes. She does kind favors for the children such as bake pound cakes
for them. She is the children’s friend especially Scout’s when Jem and Dill
would leave her out. Miss Maudie never laughs at the children except when they
mean to be funny. Miss Maudie always has an optimistic outlook on life. Even
when calamities like her house burning down occurred, Miss Maudie looks on the
bright side of things. Tom Robinson performs an act of goodness that ends
tragically in the novel. He does various chores for Mayella on numerous
occasions and not once does he accept money from her. He knew she is poor and
money isn’t the reason he was helps her. He is helping her because he feels
sympathy for her. Unfortunately for Tom, Mayella uses his goodness to take
advantage of him. The final model of goodness is Atticus defending Tom Robinson.
Judge John Taylor appoints Atticus to the case knowing he, unlike some lawyers,
will do a quality job. Atticus not only defends Tom well, but also is not a
hypocrite. He says the same things in his house that he says on the street. This
makes Atticus a prime example of goodness in the novel. These are a few of the
many examples of goodness in To Kill a Mocking Bird. This essay and its examples
identifies some of the major effects goodness have on the novel’s theme and
its readers.
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