English 10A 7º
31 April 2013
The Environment of Maturity Moral structure is developed as one matures. What one’s set of values consists of completely depends on the influences around him or her, not necessarily his or her age; a child could have more empathy than an older person, as an adult could be crueler than a child. As we grow, our deportment is deeply affected by the people around us. If in the right kind of environment, one can establish a rectified set of moral values in the process of growing up. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee demonstrates through characters of various background that maturation can lead one to develop just morals if he or she is exposed to the right type of environment. Scout and Jem Finch are able to develop a sense of empathy, selflessness, and honesty because they are raised by Atticus and are exposed to people in their family who exhibit these traits. Scout’s character is shaped by maturation as the novel progresses, she initially is a girl characterized as somewhat bratty and uncompassionate. However, with the counsel of Atticus who tells her, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it’ ” (Lee 30). Scout gains an improved sense of empathy once she has matured a few years. Being the daughter of an intelligent man, such as Atticus, serves Scout well in developing values. Atticus is not the only one in her family who affects Scout with his display of empathy, maturity, and fairness; her Uncle Jack has equally righteous standards. As a young child who picks up what she hears, Scout catches a habit of swearing unnecessarily. Scout doesn’t realize that it is immature to use swear words at inappropriate times. “But at supper that evening when I asked him to pass the damn ham, please, Uncle Jack pointed at me. ‘See me afterwards, young lady,’ he said” (Lee 79). Scout is...
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