To Kill a Mockingbird: How do illusion and reality impact our understanding of ourselves and others?One may ask the question”What functions do illusion and reality play in the understanding of ourselves and others?”. Illusion and reality both contribute in the definition of our understanding. Impression is the stereotype, the racist concept, while truth is the reality that one sees when he/she looks carefully and tries to comprehend. This might be seen in To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. As soon as, throughout Jem, Dill, and Scout’s investigation of Boo Radley, or Mr.
Arthur Radley, another time, during the whole jury’s decision versus clearly innocent Tom Robinson, and yet again, in the illusion that Dolphus Raymond is constantly drunk which is why he is in the circumstance that he is in. An example of when one looks carefully, and passes by the shell of impression and sees reality remains in Boo Radley’s case. Jem and Scout think that he is insane or exceptionally evil, because of the stories they find out about him.
One can see in the following quote the story of Boo Radley when he was a juvenile: “According to neighbourhood legend, when the more youthful Radley young boy was in his teenagers he became aquainted with a few of the Cunninghams […] and they formed the closest thing to a gang ever seen in Maycomb. […] (Lee 15-16). This quote is the story of how Arthur belonged to an “nearly gang”. This story is the basis of Jem and Scout’s belief that Boo Radley is crazy or wicked. They gradually start to see the kindness in him by the presents provided to Jem and Scout through the hole in the tree.
Then at the end of the book, one can see Arthur Radley saving Jem from Mr. Ewell’s attack: “All of a sudden he was jerked in reverse and flung to the ground, practically carrying me with him. I believed, Jem’s up. […] It was gradually concerning me that there were now four people under that tree. […] The male (Arthur Radley) was strolling with the staccato step of somone carrying a load to heavy for him. He was bring Jem.” (269) In this quote one can see the brave acts of Arthur Radley, that Scout doesn’t understand in the start, but as Arthur saves them from Mr. Ewell, and carries Jem back to safety, she sees someone else has actually come.
Here, one can easily see how Jem and Scout survive Arthur’s “illusional shell”, and for that reason see reality. A second example of how looking closely and open-mindedly draws out the truth is in Tom Robinson’s case. The whole jury of 12 provide a verdict of guilty, since they have all been raised to be prejudiced against coloured people. They are all obstinate and persistent when faced with extremely clear proof:” ‘Scout’, breathed Jem. ‘Scout, look! He’s crippled!’ Reverend Sykes leaned throughout me and whispered to Jem. ‘He got it caught in a cotton gin, captured it in Mr Dolphus Raymond’s cotton gin when he was a kid … ike to bled to death … tore all the muscles loose from his bones-” (192) This is a crucial point to Atticus’s argument, as Mayella Ewell, the victim of the rape that Tom Robinson dedicated, claims that he beat her around the face and strangled her at the very same time, all this, while she, a big and strong woman, was fighting him off. This is almost impossible, but the Jury still give a 100% guilty verdict. An example of how clear Tom Robinson being innocent is the truth that Dill, Jem, and Scout recognise that Tom Robinson is innocent and come to the point of sobbing: “It was Jem’s rely on sob.
His face was spotted with mad tears” (218) One can see how obviously cruel and injust the scenario is, through Jem, who is ignorant to ruthlessness of the world, weeping. A third situation in To Kill a Mockingbird where impression conceals the reality, is Dolphus Raymond’s circumstance. One might see the impression of Dolphus Raymond in this quote:” ‘Jem,’ said Dill, ‘he’s drinkin’ out of a sack.’ […] Jem laughed. ‘He’s got a Co-Cola bottle full of whisky therein. […] He’s been sorta drunk since [the failure of his wedding event] (166-167) This impression is that he is completely intoxicated and is formed by the truth that he is always drinking from a bottle covered in a brown paper bag. Individuals rationally assume that it is achohol and use it as a description of his circumstance. The actual facts are that he has a huge wedding event prepared, and after the rehersel, the bride commits suicide with a shotgun. He then weds a black female and has lots of combined children. In this quote, when Dill and Scout are outside the court house, he concerns them and talks:” ‘Come on here, boy, and I’ll provide you something that’ll settle your stomach.’ [said Dolphus] [… ‘Take a good sip, it’ll quiten you.’ ‘Dill, you beware now,’ I warned. Dill released the straw and smiled. ‘Scout, it’s absolutely nothing however Coca-Cola.’ […] ‘Why do you do what you do?” (stated Scout) […] ‘Well, it’s very basic,’ he said. ‘Some folks don’t– like the method I live. Now I could say to hell with ’em, I don’t care what they don’t like. […]– but I don’t say the hell with ’em, see? […] I attempt to provide ’em a factor, you see. It assists folks if they can lock on to a factor.” (207) Dolphus intentionally installs an “illusional shell”, since he understands that, for the majority of people, comprehending him would be too hard.
In this case, Dolphus put up his shell on function, to assist others live on without difficulty. One might see what roles impression and reality play in the understanding of ourselves and others through Jem, Dill, and Scout’s investigation of Boo Radley, through the whole jury’s decision versus Tom Robinson, and through Dolphus Raymond’s case. Thinking about all this, one may see how impression is simply the shell over truth, which once one stops and looks better with an open mind, one can see the real truth. One may then ask the concern: “Why is that shell there? “