Maturing Theme in "To Kill a Mockingbird"

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In Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mocking Bird, the characters of Jem and Scout are portrayed as both mature and immature. By reading the novel, one can determine that both characters mature throughout the story with the help of their father, Atticus, as well as other characters within the novel. In the beginning of the book, Jem is significantly more naïve and therefore he believes all the rumours that spread around the town about one of his neighbours, Arthur Radley, also known as ”Boo” or “Boo Radley”. “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 was 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.” (Page 13) Not only does he believe these rumours but he adds to them without knowing the truth. For example, when no one had seen “Boo”, people questioned his death. Jem told his sister that “Boo” had already died and without sending people in to take him away, they simply shoved him up the chimney. Several times in the novel Jem leads his sister Scout and there friend Dill into the Radley Place to cause trouble. One time they had snuck into the Radley yard to bother “Boo” even though he had done nothing to harm them. They attached a note at the end of a stick asking “Boo” to come out and they tried dropping it in the Radley’s window. After all the pranks they had pulled, one of Jem’s neighbours had told him about the myth that when little children were bad, the sky would punish them with awful weather. Feeling guilty about what he had done, Jem believed that the misfortunate weather was a result of his actions. Although Jem is rather childish through the course of the novel, he changes his view of things and matures, When Jem and Scout meet their friend...
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