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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

To Kill A Mockingbird - Chapters 12-21: Before You Read

What do you think is involved in making a fair judgement about a person or situation? Explain.

Before we make a fair judgement, we need to look at people and things from that person's perspective. Quoting from To Kill A Mockingbird, "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." This quote demonstrates that no matter what the case is before you judge a person, the judgement will be incorrect in one way or another until we fully understand a person's perspective of things and his inner world.

Although this is so, it is usually impossible to fully understand a person as after all, we are not that person and cannot replicate his thoughts exactly. We can try our best to do so to make a fair judgement of a person or situation but we will miss out facts here and there, especially if there are skeletons kept in the closet.

Describe an everyday situation in which one person might judge another incorrectly. What things can interfere with making a fair judgement?

"A First Impression Is A Lasting One."

We usually misjudge people due to our incorrect first impressions. When we first know or see a person, the first thing we would do is to observe his appearance, his behaviour and how he conducts himself. From these few items, we conceptualise and infer his personality without really knowing him personally. Even if we might interact with him later on and understand him better, that certain first impression will still be dangling at the back of one's mind, even though it might have been proven to be incorrect.

In our lives, we meet many people along our journey. Many of these people pass by in a flash and we don't really get to interact with them (e.g. teachers and students) personally. As a result, without knowing it, we might have been judging people incorrectly all along even if we do not realise it.

As aforementioned, the first impression of someone plays a part in making an unfair judgement. In addition, other factors (both internal and external) like prejudice against a certain party beforehand, pressure and stress from others as well as desire and passion all play a part in making an incorrect judgement of a person.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Ivan,
    I agree with you that first impressions are not accurate about a person's character. However, first impressions are perhaps not as incorrect as people make it to be. After all, if a person bothers with his first appearance and tries to appear his best the first time he meets someone, we can infer from his character that he actually bothers about such matters and thus, we can tell that he takes things seriously and wants to do the best in everything. Of course, however, if that person is simply is simply narcissistic, we may get the wrong impression. I think that instead of the first impression being the first view we get of a person, I think that perhaps we should consider our first impression the impression we get when we first interact with that person. This will give us a more accurate judgement of a person, instead of if we just look at how a person looks like.

    I think that instead of simply summarising "making a fair judgement" into a single point of understanding a person's perspective, perhaps you could elaborate more on that point, such as how the experiences of a person may affect that person's perspective and view of things. Also, I do not think that all that is involved in making a fair judgement is just understanding the person's point of view. We may also have to look at the circumstances, as extreme circumstances may force people into other points of view.

    Chong Kai En (2i106)