My Experience and Differing Perspectives in To Kill A Mockingbird Essay Example

In Harper Lee’s novel To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout as a young child struggles to understand differing perspectives on situations. After a major conflict at school with a teacher, dealing with poverty in the community, Atticus explains to Scout that, “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). This quote becomes the crux of the novel as Scout develops into a better woman, and is quite ubiquitous throughout The story concludes as Scout finally meets the mysterious Boo Radley and views her neighborhood from his perspective. She finally understands his point of view and why he would always stay in his home. Scout has empathy for Boo Radley as she starts to feel guilty about the way she, Jem, and Dill treated him. Connections are created as she is able to compare the idea of racial prejudice to the idea of Boo Radley not wanting to come out of his house, as both circumstances are unjust and unwarranted. After reading the novel and seeing Scout's growing perspective, I am able to see why my parents would not let me get my permit.

My experience

In early October, I was filled with excitement as my sixteenth birthday was approaching. In six months, I would be able to drive; Additionally, I would be able to turn over a new leaf and become more independent. As all my peers were succeeding with their tests and starting new chapters, I found it obligatory that I do the same. Little did I know, my parents had another idea that would eventually postpone my permit test date for another six months. A few days before my birthday, I decided to bring up the thought to my parents, expecting only positive results. Immediately, they were quite apprehensive and told me that they “had to talk about it.” In an attempt to be respectful, I adhered to this lack of decision. A few weeks later, after my parents had still not brought up the test, I mentioned it again. This time, their position on the argument was much more clear. Simply put, the argument ended with me stomping upstairs, slamming my bedroom door behind me, and crying in my bed. This did not go over well with my parents, so I decided that in a few days I would mention it again in a more respectful tone. During this entire endeavor, I noticed my parents would never tell me why I wasn’t allowed to get my permit. This, needless to say, puzzled me. After a very long six months, it was late March and I had made very little progress on the matter. I was furious, impatient, and was itching to get my permit.

My viewpoints have definitely changed over time; however, in the heat of the conflict, I assumed my points had to be considered due to their clarity and my own impartial feelings. First off, I assumed that taking the permit test on one’s sixteenth birthday was a very common tradition. I was outraged about the fact that everyone around me was getting their permit and I wasn’t. Most importantly, I wanted to not be left behind in life compared to my peers. Next, I wasn’t asking for much, all I wanted was a permit. I wasn’t asking for a luxurious car with a hefty price tag or free gas for two years, but instead just for the permit identification so I could actually start learning how to drive a car. I also wanted a sense of independence and satisfaction of being able to control an automobile. Lastly, which I thought would really pull for my case, I could go and get the family stuff that we needed if my parents didn’t want to go. I would continuously think to myself and wonder why my parents weren’t connecting the dots and understanding my perspective, but over time I have learned that many aspects lean very much against me. 

The first major aspect of my parent’s perspective relates back to their childhood. Both of my parents grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia with not a lot of money. With working parents and very high driver’s insurance within the city, it was pointless to get their permit. So when I was very adamant about getting mine, it was a shock to them as they didn’t grow up that way. Second, their denial about me growing up. I was their first kid, only of two, and I am always the guinea pig when it comes to major life changes. When the permit came around it was very hard for them to accept the fact that I would be driving fully in six months. Honestly, I think that truly scared the death out of them. Some of their reasoning came from the actual purpose of me getting the permit. They had no plans of buying me a car which means that if I got my permit, I would have my license with very little road time. In general, their fear of their child growing up was the driving force of the disapproving nature of taking the permit test. This shows why my parents would never tell me why I wasn’t allowed to take the test as they themselves were in fear. This fear is justified for any parents, even though the child struggles to understand their purpose, just as I struggled for the longest time.

Not only have I learned so much about myself but even more about my parents. For myself, I have become much more mature since last October and have been able to understand differing perspectives more clearly. I have learned that parents, in general, have an obligation to make decisions based on how they feel and not on the emotions of their child. My parents have shown me how much they actually care about me through this conflict. Did they want to make me upset? No, but rather, they were just distraught considering the idea that their child would be driving. Additionally, this experience has shown that my parent’s childhoods and backgrounds have a major impact on the way they make decisions and raise their children. Just as Scout was able to grow as a woman and become more mature, I myself have climbed into my parent’s skin and have taken a long walk around it. I now truly understand that their decision was not to spite me but more to show how much they care about me. I am aware of this because, in two weeks, I am heading to Dublin, Pennsylvania and I will spend my morning waiting nervously for my number to be called at the DMV.



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