To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

Submitted By lovepsalms2710
Words: 978
Pages: 4

Lindsey Harmon
Ms. Lynch
Pre-AP LA-10
Hour 7
2-21-13
Moving from Innocence to Maturity It is a proven fact that children grow up due to the experiences and people who influence them and this is a very prominent in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, three children, Scout and Jem Finch, and Dill Harris, are growing up and becoming mature in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama. Jem and Scout’s father, Atticus Finch, is a lawyer and is facing a really hard trial that ends up affecting all three of the children. There are also two neighbors, the Radleys and Mrs. Dubose effect Jem and Scout in very distinct ways. When the Radleys are first mentioned, they are made out to be evil and wrong and the oldest son, Arthur, also known as Boo, is thought to be the worst of them all. However, by the end of the novel, the children realize that their original assumptions were completely wrong. The other neighbor is Mrs. Dubose, who makes rude statements about Atticus and that makes both Scout and Jem furious. One day she makes Jem so mad, he destroys her garden and to make up for it, he has to read to her. Both of these neighbors are some of the reasons that cause Jem to mature. Throughout the story, Jem starts off being immature and childish, but by the end of the novel he is mature, and he grows tremendously during the middle section. In the beginning of the book, Jem shows little to no maturity and is very innocent and childish. One of the first examples in the novel happens when Boo Radley is first mentioned, Scout says that they have never seen Boo before but then she says, “Jem gave a reasonable description of Boo: Boo was about 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 bloodstained— 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” (17). The quote shows that Jem is completely childish and innocent because even though he had never seen Boo Radley, he tried to give a description of him, which by the end of the story is proven wrong. It also proves that he cannot think things through and believes whatever people tell him, because he is a child. Another example of Jem being childish and innocent, is when Scout is talking about Mr. Cunningham and his legal problems, she states, “I asked Jem what entailment was; and Jem described it as a condition of having your tail in a crack…” (25). This shows he is innocent because he does not know what entailment means and cannot explain what it actually is. It also shows that he is almost completely childish because he does not know what it means, so he makes up his own definition. A third quote that shows Jem is childish and innocent in the beginning is when Scout has found a piece of gum in the Radley’s tree and she tells Jem, he responds with, “Jem stamped his foot. ‘Don’t you know you’re not supposed to even touch the trees over there? You’ll get killed if you do!’” (38). The quote shows he is childish and innocent because he thinks a rumor that was started about the Radley yard and house is poisoned and that if touched, will kill on contact. It also shows that he is not thinking things through because someone who was a little…