This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird: Scout's Childhood Innocence And Growing Maturity

1166 words - 5 pages

One’s childhood innocence is never lost, it simply plants the seed for the flower of maturity to bloom. It seems that almost every adult chooses to either forget or ignore this childhood vulnerability. But ironically, it was this quality that pushed them into adulthood in the first place. At the peak of their childhood, their post climactic innocence allows room for the foundation of maturity to begin to grow. In the sleepy southern town of Maycomb this is exactly what happens to eight years old Jean Louise “Scout” Finch. In To Kill a Mockingbird the character Scout is forced to surround herself with a very adult situation, when a trial comes to the small town of Maycomb. The trial raises the question that shakes the entire town up, what prevails, racism, or the truth? And over the course of the novel the author shows how such events affect the way Scout grows over the course of the story. In the timeless novel To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee uses Scout’s incentives of purity and the quest for parental approval to stress the novel’s central thesis, the process of growing up.
Scout’s innocence and naivety push her to act the way she does, and also allow her to begin her own journey down the path to adulthood. Her immaturity becomes exceptionally clear in the middle of a neighborhood crisis. When her neighbor’s house catches on fire all Scout is worried about is retrieving a book because she is scared that her friend, Dill, will get mad if it burns in the fire. When she hears that her house might burn down her only words are, “That Tom Swift book, it ain’t mine, it’s Dill’s” (Lee 93). This quote shows her juvenility because when her whole house is threatened by a perilous fire she only says that she has to get Dill’s book. Such actions show that Scout obviously does not realize the severity of the situation. This enhances the novel’s theme because it means that her cluelessness is at its peak. Therefore the author implies that Scout can only grow from this point. This also allows Scout to move with the plot, because the fire is the turning point of the novel. It separates the childish games of Scout, Jem, and Dill, and their Boo Radley phase from the very adult world of racism and the Tom Robinson trial. By showing Scout at her climax, and connecting it to the turning point of the novel, Lee can show the reader a more noticeable change in her character. She also stresses Scout’s moments of bluntness, because it is the contrast between her mature and immature instances that make her mature moments more notable. For example, when Scout sees Boo Radley for the first time, she shows maturity beyond her years. The ordeal was explained by Scout as, “Our neighbor’s image blurred with my sudden tears. ‘Hey Boo’ I said” (Lee 362). The way Scout first reacts by saying hi so calmly shows her maturity. She handles the situation so profoundly by instantly treating him like an equal, something that is difficult even for the adults in Maycomb. This helps out...

Find Another Essay On Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird: Scout's Childhood Innocence and Growing Maturity

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

3513 words - 14 pages stating, To Kill a Mockingbird opens the chrysalis of childhood quietly and dramatically.? What Mitgang is saying, is that what makes the novel so great, is the way that Harper Lee bases it on situations she had as a child growing up in Alabama. He likes the way that she portrays the situations she faced in the eyes of two children in the novel, instead of through ?machine-tooled documentaries.? By ?machine-tooled,? I think he means novels that

Harper Lee's, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

578 words - 2 pages Harper Lee's, To Kill a Mockingbird tells both the story of a family and of the entire town in which they live, when both are placed into a scandalous moral and ethical dilemma; a conflict that tests the limits of their bravery and the power of their courage. One of the novel's primary concerns is courage, and its narrator, Scout Finch (a girl not yet six at the novel's start), sees the true nature of courage in her father. The intellectual and

Harper Lee's novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

1010 words - 4 pages The description of Scout in Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, is seen from the development of a child's eyes; the many experiences and lessons learned are carried through her adulthood. Scout Finch is a young girl who lives with her older brother, Jem, and her father, Atticus. Being a kid, Scout has the simple tasks of a child, to have fun and to stay out of trouble. However, along the way, she learns many important things. Scout learns

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

1251 words - 6 pages understanding the situation from using her experience of what Atticus explained about how it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird that only is helping other and doing no harm. Inclusively there are many examples that acme the innocence of certain characters throughout the book alongside their experience. Nevertheless, Scout appears to be a stronger character to choose as this book is about her and her life. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee took

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

2156 words - 9 pages Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird "To Kill a Mocking Bird" by Harper Lee was published in 1960 and was adapted into a play by Christopher Sergal and published in 1980. It tells the story of a court case when a black man gets accused of raping a white woman. The black man, Tom Robinson is defended by the a lawyer called Atticus Finch. Atticus is one of the few people in Maycome who have a bit of money an can read and write very well

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

1045 words - 4 pages Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird Courage is the quality of mind that enables one to face danger with confidence, resolution, and gain a firm control of oneself. Many of the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird showed courage in their own way. Courage can come in many different forms: physical, mental, emotional and moral. Courage is not the only main theme displayed in To Kill a Mockingbird; prejudice and education are also very important

Harper Lee's Novel: To Kill a Mockingbird

1108 words - 5 pages The themes of racism and innocence are explicit in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird. There are many examples of discrimination in the story where one’s innocence is lost. Arthur Radley is isolated in his own home because of the spread of false rumors. Racism causes Tom Robinson, a black man to lose his life, even though he is innocent. Those who support blacks are judged, like Atticus, Jem and Scout. How does discrimination affect those

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

1150 words - 5 pages other races, but for everyone.  Throughout “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Harper Lee traces out Scout’s growing respect for outsiders, for her aggressors, and eventually for Boo Radley.         In her first school year, Scout has no respect for anyone different from her.  An example of this is her treatment of Walter Cunningham, which is heedless at best and merciless at worst: after an explanation of Walter’s habits lands her in trouble with Miss Caroline

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

1073 words - 5 pages In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee introduces two families that reside on the outskirts of Maycomb County. The Ewells and the Cunninghams, two of the poorest families in Maycomb, despite their physical similarities are two very differently viewed families. The Ewells are despised because of their physical and behavioral filth while the Cunninghams are respected by the inhabitants of Maycomb County. They are both part of the lower

Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird"

833 words - 3 pages Aristotle once said "the law is reason free from passion" and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird tells the story of what happens when the two are introduced, at the expense of justice. The purpose of all laws is, supposedly, justice: the force of sound reason and fairness. The trial court system is the global standard of fairness, but in the novel, it fails to deliver justice to the town of Macomb. The novel illustrates the failures of the

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird - 1094 words

1094 words - 4 pages characteristic is found in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird; Lee uses her own childhood experiences to bring to the public’s attention many controversial subjects and, through skillful storytelling, portray where she stands on these subjects. One important subject Lee subtly, but effectively, addresses is the ineffectual and counterproductive state of public education and the importance of learning in one’s own home environment. Lee’s semi

Similar Essays

Scout's Childhood Simplicity In Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird

715 words - 3 pages eyes and shows them, that they truly start to understand the world we live it. Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird shows the many differences between the simplicity of being a kid and the tough decisions and problems that adults must face every day. Jean Louise Finch, or Scout, is a very innocent character. Some of the time she does not understand what is going on in the world around her until her father, Atticus, explains it to her. Scout is

Growing Up In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

1182 words - 5 pages Growing up is hard, but when you add in nosey neighbors, scary houses, a stuck up aunt, and taunting children, it becomes more difficult. To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel written by Harper Lee that was published in 1960. The story takes place in Maycomb, Alabama during the 1930s. Scout Finch is a six year old narrator. She lives with her father, her brother, and Calpurnia, their black cook. Scout spends her summers playing with her brother

Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird Scout's Ethical Transformation Throughout The Novel

825 words - 3 pages them. She even articulates this theme without the aid of Atticus when she states, "when they finally saw him, why he hadn't done any of those things...Atticus, he was real nice (281)." Thus, Scout's immense growth in maturity is similar to the growth felt by Ralph in The Lord of the Flies. In the beginning the novel, Ralph is extremely immature and doesn't set his priorities straight. In the opening chapter, instead of gathering food and creating a

How Harper Lee's Life And Childhood Influenced Her Writing Of "To Kill A Mockingbird"

2399 words - 10 pages Harper Lee's View of the 1930's as a ChildHarper Lee is well known for her great contributions towards modern society through her astounding book, To Kill a Mockingbird. The novel is read world-wide, in high schools and colleges because of its in-depth look at the social classes in the south during the 1930's. The book was influenced by society, in particular the social order of the south during her childhood. Lee grew up during this time of