How Does Harper Lee Portray the Themes of Innocence, Maturity and Growing Up in “to Kill a Mockingbird”? Essay

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In ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ written by Harper Lee, the author has used numerous different methods to portray the themes of innocence, maturity and growing up. These themes were put in so that the audience could become more empathetic towards the characters, especially the protagonists. She depicts these themes through characters, events, using symbolism, imagery and contrast located throughout the book.

Firstly, Harper Lee shows the themes of innocence, maturity and growing up through the main characters of the novel. Due to this particular theme, the two main specimens would be Jem and Scout. Both these characters start as innocent, carefree and typical children until the dire events unroll, they start to lose their purity as they
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That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” This reinforces the link Lee is trying to create between the theme of innocence and the mockingbird. Near the end of the novel, Scout thinks that hurting Boo would be like shooting a mockingbird, this shows a high amount of thought and maturity especially from a child. Boo is an important symbol of the good even in the most unsuspecting people. Even though he has gone through incomprehensible amounts of suffering and is almost ridiculed by all of Maycomb, he still goes out to save the children, presenting the ultimate symbol of goodness.
Lastly, Lee uses contrast to allow us to further explore these themes. She compares good with evil, law with chaos (prejudice), innocence with reality, for us to have a better understanding. At the start, Harper Lee makes Jem describe Boo as “six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that's why his hands were blood stained – if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. 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”. In contrast, Boo was actually a kind hearted person, shy, gentle with most attributes of a gentleman. He was depicted as a monster because of the prejudices in Maycomb. This also shows the journey that Jem took towards maturity, his childish beliefs marked his innocence and