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Kevin PradjinataMrs. HockensonEnglish, Period 110 January 2018The GrowthIn the book To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, the growth of the characters are observed, not just physically but mentally as well. Atticus Finch – a lawyer who is highly intelligent – plays a big role in teaching Jem and Scout lessons. Their change is evident as the tone of the book develops. The book begins with the sleepy town of Maycomb showing childish foolishness but later transitions into an adult seriousness. Jem and Scout, the protagonists, lose their innocence as they grow smarter and learn about the faults in the world they live in. They transition into adulthood.    Jeremy Finch, “Jem”, is the son of Atticus. In the first part of the book, Jem plays with Scout and Dill around Maycomb and learns about Boo Radley. Boo Radley is a recluse who never leaves his house. He was once considered intelligent but later, damaged by his father. Jem plays immature games such as touching the Radley house. “‘I know what we are going to play,’ … ‘Boo Radley.’…  Jem parceled out our roles: Scout was Mrs. Radley, and all Scout had to do was come out and sweep the porch. Dill was old Mr. Radley: he walked up and down the sidewalk and coughed when Jem spoke to him. Jem, naturally, was Boo: he went under the front steps and shrieked and howled from time to time.”(page 39) Boo Radley dominates the mind of Jem, letting his imagination run wild. Boo’s existence is proof of Jem’s ignorance. Jem wallows in his own oblivion. “‘He can get out at night when we’re all asleep…,'(pg 39) Jem sees Boo as a malevolent creep, judging him before even glancing him. Jem’s actions portray juvenility throughout this first part of the book. Throughout the novel, Jem slowly realizes that not everyone is kind. His innocence is lost when the injustices in the world become clear to him after the trial. Jem understands why Tom Robinson’s trial go so wrong. He has grown up and from that, he has with him crucial lessons. He learns there are many people in the world, and a lot of them are stuck in their ways and can not accept people who are distinct from themselves, which is why people discriminate against them. Jean Louise Finch, “Scout”, is the daughter of Atticus Finch and the narrator of the story. Scout follows the same childish behavior as Jem. She is remarkably keen for her age. She has an immense vocabulary that is portrayed through all aspects of the book. For example, her teacher, Miss Caroline, is shocked by Scout’s knowledge and tells her to stop reading because the school is supposed to teach her the academic portion of her life. Miss Caroline didn’t want someone to be superior to their classmates. This hits Scout hard as she loves to read and does not understand or think it is fair. Her innocence is taken away when she realizes that not everything is fair and it will not be easy for her because she is a girl. But even being smart intellectually, she had much to learn about the real world. Scout asks Calpurnia “what’s rape?”  (pg 125) and asks Atticus the same question (pg 136). She learns about crimes in the world and sees her father address it in the courtroom. Scout asking about rape demonstrates adolescence, but as she learns this, her childish innocence is lost. “Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. Whenever put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad.” Scout has outgrown her fear of Boo Radley. She recognizes who he truly is and gains a new sense of maturity. People in our world are also quick to judge other people without knowing who they are on the inside or their background. Even so, there is still hope because they can learn, like Scout, not to judge so quickly.    Maycomb has also changed with Jem and Scout. Maycomb is introduced as a sleepy town, but as the plot develops, its true colors are revealed. The people of Maycomb have shown that they are not accepting. As Tom Robinson goes to trial the town reveals it’s hatred towards people. The tow. Atticus tells Jem that there have never been mobs or gangs in Maycomb. In addition, he states that the only time the Ku Klux Klan was present was in 1920, but “they couldn’t find anybody to scare,” so they quickly dispersed (Ch. 15). However, immediately after making these statements, Atticus must face a lynch mob. They are there to persecute Atticus for defending a black man. Scout perceives this and helps diffuse the crowd’s anger.  The book even ends with violence when the town’s most violent member, Bob Ewell, attacks Atticus’s children with the intention of killing them. Even though the violence in Maycomb, there is still hope, Miss Maudie shows this. Hope is particularly expressed in Miss Maudie’s comment to the children after the trial that Atticus is the “only man in these parts who can keep a jury out so long in a case like that” (Ch. 22) she notes that the town is making a small step towards establishing a more legitimate society.The town develops from a sleepy town to a violent one, but some people still hold onto hope.    Throughout the story, it is displayed that Jem and Scout have been exposed to the dangers of the world and have been removed from their childhood. They will never be able to unsee the Tom Robinson trial, so they must not forget it but learn from it. They have grown from immaturity to sharp individuals. Time shows that Jem, Scout, and Maycomb have changed, for better or worse.Works CitedLee, Harper. ?To Kill a Mockingbird?. Grand Central Publishing, 2010.

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