How Does Harper Lee Present Her Ideas About Childhood in the Novel 'to Kill a Mockingbird'?

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Truman Capote Pages: 2 (771 words) Published: March 11, 2013
'To Kill A Mockingbird' is a novel written by Harper Lee. The novel is based on the racism, injustice and prejudice of America in the 1930's.

Harper Lee presents her ideas about childhood through the eyes of six year old, Scout - Jean Louise Finch. The book is written from a child's point of view on their surroundings, but an adult writes it from a child's imagination and thoughts. Harper Lee cleverly uses a child's perspective to portray events that happen within the story, because it is written by a mere child there are no judgmental opinions. As a result, showing us as readers that childhood is an essential part of 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

Through the perspective of Scout, we understand how Maycomb as a town is very unexciting. The Finch children first experience friendship when they meet Dill - Charles Baker Harris. "'I'm Charles Baker Harris.' he said. 'I can read.'" Dill tries to impress Scout and Jem by saying that he could read. Reading at a young age was uncommon for children in Maycomb at that time, but Jem and Scout could both read as they had been taught. There is a small quarrel between Jem and Dill as they make fun of each others names, which makes Jem suddenly dislike him. Nevertheless Dill tells them about Dracula, which makes the children accept him. This introduction of a new friend shows friendship as well as childhood in the novel.

Maycomb has very few children which is why the children resort to using their imaginations. Boo Radley is a person whom they constantly pester and create stories about. "Stop tormenting that man" Atticus says this to the children; the children therefore find it intriguing as why Atticus, the man who socializes with everyone, refuses them to interact with Boo. Boo Radley is forbidden to them therefore making their imaginations run wild. Using their imaginations they create plays about Boo Radley and his life, which are shown through a child's perspective and make a reader relate to it.

Like every child...
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