To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a fascinating story that has captured the hearts of many readers. The main character and narrator Scout Finch, or otherwise known as Jean Louise Finch, speaks the voice of a young girl who grows up in a small town called Maycomb County in the 1930’s. Her father, Atticus Finch, is a non-racist lawyer in a very prejudice town. Throughout the novel, Harper Lee includes many themes, but one of the most important one explains the loss of innocence and growing up. Even though one loses their childhood innocence, he or she eventually gains more consciousness and understands more about themselves and the world around them.
The first example in To Kill a Mockingbird of when Scout and her brother Jem lose their innocence has to do with a game they made based on Arthur Radley. Mr. Radley, also known as Boo, never goes outside of his home, at least not for anyone to see. It is believed by the citizens of Maycomb County that he is a monster, and the children due to the rumors have a set description of him, “There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time” (Lee 16). Atticus Finch one day sees the children playing the game. He asks them if it has anything to do with the Radley family; the children lie to their father and say that the game is not based on Boo. Once he leaves, they continue to play the game. Surprisingly, later throughout the story, they learn that Arthur Radley is truly a benevolent man. He leaves the children gifts in a little tree-hole from time to time; however he stops doing so suddenly for his brother fills up the tree-hole with cement and blocks him from the outer world. Scout and Jem realize the mistakes they made by playing the childish game, and grasp the concept that one cannot always believe what a person says. These situations are proof of how Jem and Scout are beginning to grow up and are losing some of the childhood innocence they used to have.
The second example of maturing in the novel was Mrs. Dubose’s lesson. Even though she seems to be a cruel, mean, old woman, she in facts teaches a very valuable message. In anger, Jem ruins her camellia garden after Mrs. Dubose malicious comments about how Atticus is defending a black man. Consequently, Mrs. Dubose orders him to read to her every day; she is suffering from a morphine addiction. However, not only is she battling a morphine addiction, but she wants to die completely free of it, a daring and painful task. When she passes away, Atticus tells Jem what Mrs. Dubose’s death and her battle with her addiction signified.
I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyways and you see through it no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. Mrs. Dubose won, all ninety-eight pounds of her. According to...