To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

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“Maturity is that time when the mirrors in our mind turn to windows and instead of seeing the reflection of ourselves we see others” (Eleanor Roosevelt). To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel written by Harper Lee, in which many of the characters mature and see the world in different perspectives. In the novel, Jem’s thoughts, behavior, and feelings mature over time due to certain significant events that change his life. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem’s thoughts about his father change from thinking Atticus is good-for-nothing, to having the utmost respect for him. One important event that changes Jem’s attitude towards Atticus is the shooting of Tim Johnson, a Maycomb dog that has rabies. “Atticus can’t do anything” (Lee 104). Previous to the shooting, Jem assumed his father was old and unimportant. He believed that Atticus was not worth anything because all the other kids in Jem’s grade had fathers that were labor workers and farmers. Then, Atticus takes the rifle from the town sheriff and shoots the dog and kills him in one shot. “Atticus Finch was the deadest shot in Maycomb County in his time” (112). Jem now sees that Atticus is of value, and his father has become a role-model to him. Jem’s new respect for his father is because he sees what Atticus is really worth, and he understands that once being the best shot in Maycomb and being a high ranking lawyer is very respectable. Jem’s thoughts about Atticus and having respect for him have been dramatically changed from the shooting of Tim Johnson. Jem’s experience with Mrs. Dubose matures his feelings about judgment and prejudice of people. Everyday, as the children walk by, Mrs. Dubose yells hurtful things at Jem and Scout. Jem despises her very much and acts out his hatred of her by cutting all of her beloved camellia plants. “He did not begin to calm down until he had cut the tops off of every camellia bush Mrs. Dubose owned” (117). Jem cannot control his feelings of anger and being mad. When...
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