Last Updated 23 Mar 2023

Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes

Category Shoes
Words 708 (3 pages)
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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Rabbit Proof Fence by Phillip Noyce, and Martin Luther King Jr’s speech I have a Dream, all explore the lesson that Atticus teaches Scout. The lesson of Walking in someone else’s shoes. The metaphor of walking in someone else’s shoes indicates the understanding of a person by seeing things from his or her perspective. These three texts are set in the 20th Century, during a time of great racial inequalities and discrimination in society. To Kill a Mockingbird explores the idea - walking in someone else’s shoes, through the issue of racism.

Rabbit Proof Fence ponders the idea - walking in someone else’s shoes, though the subject of prejudice. I have a Dream speech by Martin Luther King Jr. examines the lesson - walking in someone else’s shoes, through the use of the themes, freedom and a thirst for change. In t the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus teaches his daughter Scout, and his son Jem, that “you can kill all the blue jays you want,... but remember it’s a sin to kill a mocking bird. ” The mockingbird symbolises Tom Robinson, as he has done nothing wrong, yet he is slowly being ‘destroyed’ by the racism shown towards him, by the white townspeople of Maycomb.

When Tom Robinson appears in court due to Mayella Ewell’s accusation of him raping her, Tom Robinson is not giver a fair trial. The jury is display racism as they ignore the evidence which is supporting Tom Robinson, and instead jump straight to the conclusion, which is Tom Robinson is guilty. “The evil assumption – that all Negroes lie, that all negroes are basically immoral beings, that all negroes are not to be trusted around our women”. In the film Rabbit Proof Fence one main form of prejudice is demonstrated.

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Mr Neville’s is prejudice towards the aboriginals, as he believes they are incompetent to care for themselves and their families. Seeing as Mr Neville is the legal guardian of all “half-cast” children, he sees it as his duty to separate the children from their families and situate them at Moore River to allow the nuns working at Moore River to raise these children as Christians. Mr. Neville had a plan to breed out the “... unwanted third race... ”- which is the aboriginals – by simply arranging for each generation of “half-caste” children to marry white Australians. “... he aboriginal has simple been bred out. ” The lesson of walking in someone else’s shoes is important in this film because if Mr. Neville had placed himself in the situation that all the children at Moore River were in, he would have been unmistakable to him that these children are unhappy at Moore River, as well as there not being any major reason to remove the children from their family unit and habitat. In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his speech, I Have a Dream in Washington DC. Martin Luther King Jr. understands that the American nation as a whole has a thirst for change.

The urgency to change for the better. Throughout the speech there is a considerable amount of chronology used. When Martin Luther King explains how even after a long period of time after the Emancipation Proclamation the only thing that has changed is that there is no longer slavery but segregation, discrimination and racism still occurs. “One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacle of segregation and the chains of discrimination. ” The word freedom is repeated several times throughout the speech.

The effect of this technique used, (anaphora) is that the key word contains much meaning, and repeating it emphasises and enforces the meaning and message. “Let freedom ring... ” When Martin Luther King Jr. refers to freedom, he does not only mean physically, but psychologically too. To Kill a Mockingbird, Rabbit Proof Fence, and I have a Dream speech all explore the need to learn the lesson – walking in someone else’s shoes. These three texts show how there was a great injustice in society in the 20th Century. It is because of this injustice in society that there is a need to see things from another person perspective.

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