To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming of age novel, focusing on the growth and development of Scout, a young, naive girl, maturing and learning about the world around her. It depicts a two-year period in their lives. Starting when Scout is 6, and her older brother, Jem, is 10. Both of the two children start off unaware of the many realities in life, that is preached, and understood through Atticus, their father. The whole town respects Atticus, a highly intelligent man who lives by morality and justice. He is the key to Scout being able to mature through the key events of the novel.
The reality of society is brought to scouts attention. Scout starts off in the novel as a young, naive child, who is thrust into the reality, and quickly learns the injustice of the community. There are many contributing factors to demonstrate this to her, but the trial of Tom Robinson is the most significant. He was wrongly convicted of a crime that he palpably did not commit. Scouts father Atticus is the lawyer assigned to defend him, the best lawyer in Maycomb County. After the trial, of which Atticus had a great defence, and Tom having a very believable story, as well as the evidence from the prosecutors is purely circumstantial. Scout finds it unfathomable that the jury convicts him. Atticus politely helps explain this to Scout when he says "The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any colour of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box." The racism is gently said by Atticus, but is clearly evident in the novel. Atticus is a kind, forgiving man, who you never hear say a bad word about others. When he says the statement "As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it - whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash." It is further emphasized into Scouts mind, due to his nature is highly regarded from her. She takes it in the true nature of society, the brutality of it, and understands immoral.
To not judge others, without knowing how and why people think, and act in certain ways, unless you out yourself in their shoes, is a significant issue that Scout learns through the book. This is shown through the character of Arthur “Boo” Radley. This takes a while for Scout to understand, and is a major theme of the novel. Scout, Jem and their friend Dill often talk about, and play games all summer at their neighbours house, the residence of Arthur Radley, referred to as Boo, due to