A Simple Love Story

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One of the most misunderstood emotions in life is love. There are so many different perspectives of love that it can be translated into something completely different from its original meaning. Harper Lee, the author of To Kill A Mockingbird, describes her book as “a plain and simple love story”. Obviously, this story is no romance novel, rather the love Lee is referring to is the one amongst family, friends, and enemies. Martin Luther King Jr. defines this love as agape, or “a disinterested love in which the individual seeks not his own good, but the good of his neighbor…it begins by loving others for their sakes…it’s a love seeking to preserve and create community” (King 19). Harper Lee demonstrates her “love story” in To Kill A Mockingbird by showing that through the problem of ignorance and its resulting prejudice, the solution in combatting these two problems is with compassionate understanding. The citizens of Maycomb are so consumed by ignorance that they can’t accept white people having anything to do with blacks, let alone having an affair with them. In this quote, Dolphus Raymond explains to Jem, Scout, and Dill why he “drinks” out of a paper bag outside of the courthouse, “I try to give ‘em a reason, you see. It helps folks if they can latch onto a reason. When I come to town, which is seldom, if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can say Dolphus Raymond’s in the clutches of whiskey - that’s why he won’t change his ways” (Lee 200). This quote demonstrates irony because, although Dolphus Raymond is one of the white elites in the social order of Maycomb, he still has to “disguise” his true feelings for blacks by being drunk. Through this, the ignorance of the citizens of Maycomb County is revealed and how Dolphus Raymond compromises in order to try to fit in but he is still looked upon as an outcast of society. In addition, Scout, Jem, and

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