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The Plight of Third World Children

By studygirl0424 Feb 26, 2013 595 Words
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 book.

Both Jem and Scout Finch learned to become adults in their own different ways. With Scout, she figured out that if you want there to be change in the world, you can’t sit around and do nothing, you have to go out and get it, wherever you can. “‘Jem, how can you hate Hitler so bad, an’ then turn around and be ugly about folks right at home-”’ (Lee 331). For Jem, growing up is more about facing the world for it is, and not what he wished it would be. “Atticus said that Jem was trying hard to forget something, but what he was really doing was storing it away for a while, until enough time passed. Then he would be able to think about it and sort things out.” (Lee 331).

In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout and Jem Finch became more informed, and mature young-adults by watching the examples set by their family, and the people who love them. Scout learned from Calpurnia that if you can help someone, then you should. Jem learned from Miss Maudie that people in their right minds never take pride in their talents. Even though they learn it by going through different events, they both come to the conclusion that to change the world, you must first change what is around you.

Works Cited
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 1960. Print.

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