Age And Maturity: Not One In The Same. Characters In To Kill A Mockingbird And The Help Which Prove This

1254 words - 6 pages

16 year old Lexi walks down her school hallway in Sarasota, Florida and notices that the art room is overflowing with supplies. “Wow we are lucky to have all these paints,” she thinks to herself as she starts to pick up a book located nearby. The book cover illustrates crafty artworks from Latin America; each artwork lacking a range of supplies. This found book causes her to start her own charity called Art 4 Niño’s at only age 16. Although at a young age, she is one of the few teens taking a stand, which makes her more mature than the typical 16 years old. This act is just one example how age does not limit the ability of an individual. The novels, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Help by Kathryn Stockett, both explore how actions can reach beyond an age’s “normal stereotypes.” Both novels illustrate that maturity is not dependent on one’s age but one’s actions.
Lee demonstrates that as individuals, one must decide how to react in difficult circumstances. After the Tom Robinson court case, Mr. Ewell sees Atticus by the post office and begins to curse at him, spits in his face, and threatens to kill him. Miss Maudie describes Atticus’s actions as, “ Atticus didn’t bat an eye, just took out his handkerchief, wiped his face, and stood there and let Mr. Ewell call him names wild horses could not bring her to repeat” (Lee 217). The mellow calm tone portrayed by Atticus’s actions of remaining quiet and gently wiping his face, shows a maturity many adults do not have themselves. The metaphor of “wild horses” is used to illustrate Bob Ewell’s language was so violent, that “wild horses” could not make her repeat it. Lee continues implying the maturity factor in the scene where Jem and Miss Maudie are discussing the Maycomb people shortly after the case. Jem states, “it’s like bein’ a caterpillar in a cocoon, that’s what it is. Like somethin’ asleep wrapped up in a warm place. I always thought Maycomb folks were the best folks in the world, least that’s what they seemed like” (Lee 215). The metaphor of a caterpillar coming out of its cocoon makes Jem realize the people of Maycomb did not really show their real selves until the court case happened and how each individual reacted. This was a huge breaking point in Jem’s life to be able to see the corruption of racism all around him. The idea of corruption is a very mature thought that even Miss Maudie could not see. Scout also has an event that is a realization moment. At the end of the novel Scout is walking Boo Radley home when she stops and views down the street. She sees how there is a straight line down the street and if one stood there, they could see everything that was happening. She remembers how Boo cared for them and how he accepted them as one of his own. Lee portrays that Scout can see through the common stereotype like Jem does, and can accept one for who he/she is. Scout reflects back to walking in someone else’s shoes which shows maturity and understanding of the theme in To...

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