Two Bildungsromans in One Story
In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout and Jem Finch become more cultured and mature young-adults by experiencing different events. Scout became more lady-like when she observed and helped Calpurnia at her Aunt Alexandra’s brunch. Jem learned from Atticus and Miss Maudie that you should not take pride in your talents. Jem and Scout Finch became more adult-like and mature young people by experiencing different events. It begins with Scout sitting in on her Aunt Alexandra’s missionary brunch.
Scout Finch became more lady-like when she observed and helped out at her Aunt Alexandra’s brunch. Scout saw that Calpurnia was doing everything, so she asked if Cal needed any help. ‘“Can I help you Cal?’ I asked, wishing to be of some service.” (Lee 306). Even when Miss Stephanie Crawford asked Scout if she wanted to be a lawyer when she grew up, Scout stopped and thought for herself, rather than to please others. ‘“Don’t you want to be a lawyer?” Miss Maudie’s hand touched mine and I answered mildly enough, ‘Nome, just a lady.”’ (Lee 308) Scout learned in this chapter how to be a lady, just as Jem over the course of chapters, learned how to be a gentleman.
Jem learned from Atticus and Miss Maudie that a gentleman never takes pride in his talents. When Jem saw his father shoot a wandering mad dog dead-on, he realized something very important; a gentleman should never take pride in his talents. “Jem became vaguely articulate: ‘D you see him, Scout? D’ you see him just standin’ there?...’n’ all of a sudden he just relaxed all over, an’ it looked like that gun was a part of him…an’ he did it so quick, like…I hafta aim for ten minutes ‘fore I can hit somethin’…” (Lee 129). Miss Maudie had to explain to Jem why his father never told him about his talent in hunting. ‘“People in their right minds never take pride in their talents,’ said Miss Maudie.” (Lee 130). Both Jem and Scout Finch had small, different realizations throughout the...
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