Building Blocks of Growth and Maturity
In To Kill a Mockingbird
Throughout the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, many characters develop and mature in unique ways. Boo, who fears talking to others, Aunt Alexandra, who is against people of other races or social classes, and Scout, who is young and is not aware of life’s challenges, constantly suppress their emotions and personality. Their life choices and decisions that they make throughout the book, lead them to be more accepting of others and less prejudice. As the book progresses, Boo, Aunt Alexandra, and Scout learn life lessons and develop into mature adults.
Boo Radley’s maturity is depicted in the novel when he overcomes his fear and interacts with Scout, Jem and Dill. Boo, who is notorious for being a recluse, is a shy, lonely man who rarely leaves his house and does not understand the world around him. However, when he finally comes to interact with the children, he matures both mentally and socially. One example of when Boo matured physically was when Boo rescued Jem from Mr. Ewell. Boo finally found his inner strength and decided to enter the woods and save Jem. By doing this, he demonstrated that he learned to overcome his fear and be around others. A second example is when Boo laughed at Scout, Jem and Dill. When Boo laughed, the author does not tell us the type of laugh. “Through all the head-shaking, quelling of nausea and Jem-yelling, I had heard another sound, so low I could not have heard it from the sidewalk. Someone inside the house was laughing” (Pg.41). The laugh could have a variety of different implications. The laugh could be foreshadowing that Boo will come out of his house and talk with Scout, Dill, and Jem. Furthermore, Boo reverts back to his youth and Boo overcomes his phobia of being around people in public. Lastly, Boo wants to secretly give Jem, Scout, and Dill some signs to show them that he is not afraid to communicate with them. He wants to show Scout, Jem and Dill that he is interested in learning more about them and the entire world. By doing this, Boo matures into a person who will begin to communicate and interact with the world.
On the other hand, Aunt Alexandra faced a different but common obstacle, prejudice. Since prejudice was ubiquitous, Aunt Alexandra demonstrated maturity when she became more accepting of others especially Calpurnia, Boo and Scout. Aunt Alexandra, Scout and Jem’s caretaker, had some difficulties interacting and talking around people who were a different race or a lower social or economic class. When Aunt Alexandra first met Calpurnia, the African-American maid who worked in the Finch’s house, she despised her and all of her actions. No matter what Calpurnia did or what she said, she could not please Aunt Alexandra. However, later on in the novel, Aunt Alexandra developed a more accepting attitude towards Calpurnia. She allowed Calpurnia to serve the children dinner....