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To Kill a Mocking Bird Essay

By asdklasdk Sep 24, 2013 1570 Words
Childhood, to adulthood, a large step for everyone. It is a stage that everybody must go through and experience. Dill Harris a seven year old boy, Scout Finch a six year old girl, and Jem Finch a 10 year old boy are all young characters in the novel To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee that show a large step of maturing and coming of age through all of their adventures and experiences from the beginning of the novel to the end. These three kids go through experiences that affect them for the rest if their lives and impacts the way look at life.  

The first character that matures and shows coming of age throughout the novel is Dill Harris. He matures in three different ways. First he learns to stop lying and exaggerating his words and start telling the truth, and he also learns to treat his aunt better if he wants to be coming back to Maycomb every summer. One of the large ways Dill matures is that he learns to stop lying and stop exaggerating everything he says. An example of how Dill matures like this is “Dill Harris could tell the biggest ones I ever heard. Among other things, he had been up in a mail plane seventeen times, he had been to Nova Scotia, he had seen an elephant, and his granddaddy was Brigadier General Joe Wheeler and left him his sword." This quote shows that Dill originally starts lying and exaggerating many of his statements, but later learns to stop doing that if he wants to keep his friends. The reasoning for Dill saying this is because he has a very boring life with all the switching between parents. He wants to make his life sound much more interesting so he starts talking like this. But he matures throughout the novel and learns to stop talking like this so he can be honest to his friends. The second way Dill matures throughout the novel is he learns that he must start treating his aunt much better if he wants to keep on coming back to Maycomb every summer. An example of this is “Dill, you’ve got to stop goin’ off without tellin her,” said Jem. “It aggravates her.” This quote shows that Dill learns from Jem that when Dill just runs off without letting his aunt know, his aunt gets very angry about it. He now knows that he should not be doing this and matures about it and stops not caring about his aunt and telling her anything. He starts to tell his aunt where he is going and begins to act very nice towards her. Dill knows he has to do this if he wants to continue coming back to Maycomb every summer. Dill realized that his aunt would not want him coming back to live with her every single summer. He would never make it enjoyable for her, and she would always be worried about his whereabouts. So he starts to make it a pleasurable summer for his aunt but to still have fun. But Scout, the younger child even matures more from beginning to end. Those are two ways that Dill Harris shows coming of age in the novel.  

Scout Finch is the second character that shows maturity in this novel. Scout shows maturity by learning to treat all people politely no matter their family background, race or culture. An example of this is when, Scout complains to Calpurnia about the amount of syrup Walter Cunningham is pouring on his dinner and states “He aint't company, Cal, he's just a Cunningham-” Calpurnia responds to that with “Hush your mouth! Don't matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house's yo' comp'ny, and don' you let me catch you remarkin' on their ways like you was so high and mighty. Yo' folks might be better'n the Cunningham's but it don't count for nothin' the way your disgracin' 'em-if you can't act fit to eat at the table you can just set here and eat in the kitchen!” (Lee 33) This quote shows that Scout is learning many lessons from Calpurnia about treating all people politely when they enter their house. Especially towards the Cunningham's and Walter. She starts to treat Walter and his family better and stops judging them because of their last name, and because they are a poor family. Scout learns that the Cunningham's are just like all other families. She thinks that because they are poor she believes that they are automatically different then everyone else. But later learns, thanks to Calpurnia that they are just like everyone else and that she should treat them the exact same way she would treat any other family. Also Scout learns to ignore rude comments and act like nothing happened and just forget everything. An example of this is when Scouts teacher, Miss Caroline Fisher starts to complain about the way Atticus is teaching Scout and she states “Your father does not know how to teach. You can have a seat now.' I mumbled that I was sorry and retired meditating upon my crime.” (Lee 23) This shows that as the story progresses Scout learns to ignore rude comments thrown at her or her family. In this quote Miss Caroline is trying to prove that Atticus does not know how to teach his children how to read. Then Scout just ignores her teacher and sits back down and acts like nothing happened. Finally Scout learns to start listening and obeying her father. An example of this is “As Atticus once advised me to do; I tried to climb into Jem's skin and walk around in it.” (Lee ?) This quote shows that Scout learns that she should start listening to her dad because she knows that he is a wise man. Scout is taking what her father told her to do and is applying it into the real world. Before she is about to say something she pictured herself in the same position. From the beginning of the book to the end, Scout matures a large amount. But she is not the only one, Jem just like his sister Scout shows coming of age as well. Those are three ways that Scout shows maturity throughout the novel.            

In the novel Jem Finch also matures throughout the story in three different ways. One of the ways he matures is he learns to protect his sister and do what’s best for her. An example of this is “[…] But when I was rubbing his nose in the dirt Jem came by and told me to stop “You're bigger'n he is” he said.”This quote shows that Jem is standing up for his sister. He sees that Scout is being inappropriate so he comes over to stop her. He is making the right choices and helping out his sister very much. He wants his sister to make better choices so he is trying to help her out more. Jem wants to do what he can do to make Scout make the right choices and do what is best for her. Jem is being a very good brother in the novel and becomes an even better one towards the end of the story. Jem also matures throughout the book because he realizes that people of different races are treated unfairly. An example of how Jem matures through this is, “It was Jem's turn to cry. His face was streaked with tears as we made our way through the cheerful crowd. “It ain't right,” muttered […]” This quote shows that as Jem, Scout, and Dill are attending the court they see that people of different race and colour are treated completely different and much ruder. But Jem is the one that realizes this the most, compared to the other two children. Jem did not understand this when he was younger but now as he attends the court he starts to notice that they are treated completely different. Jem notices that everyone is so cheerful about the case and that they are all treating Tom Robinson very rude and not giving him a chance, compared to all the white people who are being treated so nicely. He understands that it's not fair the way they are treating Tom Robinson, when they are treating the white people so happily and pleasantly. Jem realizes this because he is maturing greatly throughout the novel. Finally Jem shows maturity by he learns to not judge someone from what you have heard of them. An example of how Jem shows maturity through this is “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. “This quote shows how Jem is maturing because she learns that she should not be judging someone before he really understands how their life actually is. He now knows that he should not judge someone before he gets to know someone. He thought Boo Radley was very scary and exactly like a ghost because of the stories he hears and how he never leaves his house. But then Boo Radley became a really nice person once Jem gets to know him. Now Jem knows never to judge someone like that before you really know their side of the story. Those are the three ways Jem Finch shows coming of age in the novel.

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