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As humans, we all change and become wiser as we grow, and Harper Lee’s novel perfectly encapsulates the essence of growth. To Kill a Mockingbird is a story of many messages, but most notably that of maturing in a society drenched in prejudice and inequality. Scout Finch transforms from a naive and innocent child with faith in the goodness of others to a young woman that begins to understand the harsh and unjust realities of the world. While she does not completely understand the discrimination present in her society, she does experience prejudice herself, as those around her often try to change her tomboyish ways and mold her into a more socially accepted lady. As the novel progresses, Scout is able to formulate views on the members of her community, and as she becomes more intelligent, she simultaneously grows emotionally and begins to show concern and empathy towards others. In this essay I will analyze Scout’s process of maturity. Scout matures incredibly throughout the book and she learns to view life from another’s perspective before casting judgment, something that guides her throughout the novel, which I believe ultimately fosters her intellectual skills, respect, social awareness and emotional understanding.
Throughout the book Scout’s innocence shapes the story in a significant way. For example, when Atticus got approached by the mob in jail, scout walks up to them and says “Well, Atticus, I was just sayin to Mr. Cunningham that entailments are bad and all that but you said not to worry. It takes a long time sometimes… and that you all’d ride it out together”. This quote shows how Scout’s immaturity made her talk to the mob not knowing the severity of the issue. She is uninformed of what’s correct to do in this situation due to Atticus’ issue. Additionally, when Jem tells Scout that there are four different kinds of people, she says “I told Jem if that was so then why didn’t Tom’s jury made up of folks like the Cunningham’s, acquit Tom to spite the Ewells? Jem waved my question away as being infantile”. Since Scout is immature, Jem waves her question as if it wasn’t asked, making her statements useless. Due to this Scout is treated with no respect when making suggestions towards more “mature” topics. Scouts immaturity gives her less of say towards important things, and even jeopardizes issues with others.
Scout matures socially as she becomes mindful of the discrimination surrounding her, and learns how to make judgments, decisions and tackle any problem at hand. At first, Scout finds herself quickly judging others, as when Walter Cunningham is over for dinner, she acts immature and ridicules him for his eating habits. When Calpurnia confronts her about it, Scout tells her, “he ain’t company, Cal, he’s just a Cunningham-.” Following this, Atticus teaches her the necessity of walking around in another’s skin and considering things from their point-of-view before forming conclusions about them. She takes this advice to heart and puts it into practice many times. One instance is when Jem becomes moody after retrieving his pants from the Radley place, as Scout comments on the situation saying, “I tried to climb into Jem’s skin and walk around in it: if I had gone alone to the Radley Place at two in the morning, my funeral would have been held the next afternoon. So I left Jem alone and tried not to bother him.” This very much exhibits her maturity because after she thinks from his perspective, Scout empathizes with him and his difficult situation. She particularly applies this at the end of the novel when she stands on Boo Radley’s porch and says, “Atticus was right…you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes….Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.” In the beginning, she judges Boo based on the myths surrounding him, but when she views the neighbourhood through his eyes, it is apparent that Scout has come to some understanding of Boo as she sees the humanity of him and how he truly cared for her all along, despite never seeing him. In the end, Scout learned to respect and value the differences in people by applying Atticus’ advice.
Scout displays emotional growth as she finds herself feeling empathy for others, becoming self-aware and learning self-control. An example in the novel in which she displayed emotional maturity is when she walked away from fighting Cecil Jacobs. Scout is a very hot tempered young girl, and she would pick a fight whenever she was provoked by someone. However, when Cecil was criticizing Atticus, Scout says, “I drew a bead on him, remembered what Atticus had said, then dropped my fists and walked away, ‘Scout’s a cow-ward!’ ringing in my ears. It was the first time I ever walked away from a fight. Somehow, if I fought Cecil I would let Atticus down.” This displays incredible maturity because Scout does not want to disappoint her father and she realizes that it’s better to disregard the negativity than impulsively act and put up a fight like she normally would. Scout also learns to feel sympathy, as following Tom Robinson’s conviction, she realizes that he was merely convicted due to the economic divisions that exist in Maycomb. Having begun to understand the racism that plagues her town, she feels for the blacks deprived of the same rights as the whites when she speaks, “Then Mr. Underwood’s meaning became clear: Atticus had used every tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men’s hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed.” This brings me to my final point, because even though Mayella testified against Tom, Scout pities her. During Mayella’s testimony, she is offended by Atticus questioning her about her friends and referring to her as “ma’am.” Scout puts herself in Mayella’s position and realizes that she is this way because she has likely never been treated politely in her life. The Ewells are a low-class family disregarded by society, and Scout is mature enough to understand her loneliness and the despair in which she exists.
Finally, Scout matures intellectually as she develops into a critical thinking and constant knowledge seeking young lady. Scout actively seeks knowledge from her father throughout the course of the novel, and he instills in her conscience and morality. The most notable instance of this is the previously mentioned lesson of putting one’s self in another’s skin before judging them. Why I mention this again is because not only does it help her mature socially, but also intellectually as she gains a sense of awareness through this advice and her way of thinking improves as a result. The most notable example of Scouts of her intellectual maturity through using this advice was when she was able to climb into Walter Cunningham Sr.’s skin and appeal to his humanity. She says to him, “Don’t you remember me, Mr. Cunningham? I’m Jean Louise Finch. You brought us some hickory nuts one early morning, remember? We had a talk. I went and got my daddy to come out and thank you. I go to school with your boy. I go to school with Walter; he’s a nice boy. Tell him ‘hey’ for me, won’t you? You know something, Mr. Cunningham, entailments are bad.” By speaking this, Scout displays remarkable intellectual growth because she carefully chooses her words in order to make Walter feel guilty for threatening Atticus — the man whom allowed him pay for his legal matters in exchange for crops. She reminded Walter that Atticus had helped and been a friend to him, and she also asks that he say hello to his son, Walter Jr. for her, showing him that he is a father just as Atticus is. This allowed him to feel ashamed and as a result, he and his lynch mob turned back and dispersed.
Overall, Harper Lee presents Scout as a young woman on the path of growth whom tries to make sense of the economic inequality and racial prejudice in her community, while also displaying moral and virtuous values. By the end of the novel, Scout develops into a wonderful character with qualities of intellectual intelligence, emotional control, sympathy, social maturity and respect for the differences in others.
Scout matures socially as she becomes mindful of the discrimination surrounding her, and learns how to make judgments, decisions and tackle any problem at hand. At first, Scout finds herself quickly judging others, as when Walter Cunningham is over for dinner, she acts immature and ridicules him for his eating habits.How does Scout show maturity in To Kill a Mockingbird? ›
Scout showed maturity by feeling bad for Jem and going with him to read to Mrs. Dubose. She also matured and learned a good lesson from the whole situation.How is Scout developing and maturing as a character? ›
Scout is juvenile and ill-mannered when you start to read the novel. She progressively matures and learns from her experiences throughout the novel. By the end of the novel, Scout becomes more empathetic towards others, and is more appreciative of people around her. She learns this through her own experiences.How is Scout growing and maturing as the story progresses? ›
Scout ages from 6 to 9 over the time of the novel and shows much change. Over the years, she is exposed adult issues,and eventually shows an understanding of respect and bravery. During the book, Scout learns a lesson of respect and bravery . One lesson Scout learns is respect.Which character has the largest impact on Scout's maturing attitude? ›
Among them, Miss Maudie Atkinson, a woman who proves herself a strong character, prevails as the one who has the greatest impact on Scout Finch, the protagonist of this novel. As Scout matures and grows up, her views on the world around her change.Who matures the most in To Kill a Mockingbird? ›
Scout may be a young character, but because of her traits and actions, she is one of the most mature.What quotes showing Scout maturing? ›
One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough" (Lee321). This quote shows Scout maturing because she is realizing that you cant judge people, you never know what they go through.How does Scout show her maturity in the last few chapters quizlet? ›
Scout's respect and appreciation for her brother has gradually grown over the past several chapters. In this chapter, she seems to finally accept the fact that Jem is growing up, indicating that she is now pleased with his maturity instead of resistant to it.How does Jem prove that he is maturing in Chapter 23? ›
Jem proudly shows Scout his chest hair as a mark of his emergence into manhood. Scout's badge of incipient womanhood, the dress that she wears to the missionary circle meeting, doesn't suit her; she wears her usual tomboy trousers underneath.Is Scout more mature than Jem? ›
Jem is Scout's older brother and when the novel begins he is ten years old. Because he is older than Scout he matures more quickly and sometimes understands issues she does not.
She is intelligent and, by the standards of her time and place, a tomboy. Scout has a combative streak and a basic faith in the goodness of the people in her community. As the novel progresses, this faith is tested by the hatred and prejudice that emerge during Tom Robinson's trial.What good character traits are developed in scouting? ›
Scouting helps youth develop academic skills, self-confidence, ethics, leadership skills, and citizenship skills that influence their adult lives.What are the three most important lessons that Scout learned throughout the novel Why? ›
The three lessons that Scout learns throughout the novel To Kill a Mockingbird are to, always look at situations from others perspective, not to hurt innocence, and that because everyone has good and bad qualities you should look for them instead of just seeing one side.What events caused Scout change? ›
Scout's first day of school plays a role in developing and affecting Scout's character as it marks a day where she is deemed old enough to learn in a public place, and what she earns isn't what was expected. She learns that the teachers view of learning does not include parental help.How does Scout change throughout the story what General realizations? ›
How does Scout change throughout the story? What general realizations or understandings about the world and the nature of human beings does she discover? She realized that the world isn't all fun and rainbows. (grows up, matures).What is Scout's view of femininity in Chapter 9? ›
Scout is reluctant to be feminine because she wants to grow up on her own terms. She sees femininity as a trap, and she doesn't understand that masculinity is governed by just as many rules.How did Atticus help Scout mature? ›
In order to help Scout grow and mature, Atticus teaches her the importance of trying to understand others and not to judge them based on appearance. It is significant for Scout, as a young child, to know the importance of seeing things from many different viewpoints and not just one.What is Scout's real name? ›
Answer and Explanation: Scout's real name in Harper Lee's classic To Kill a Mockingbird is Jean Louise Finch, but she is rarely called by her given name.How does Scout develop in To Kill a Mockingbird? ›
Scout changes by learning what real courage is, by walking in others shows, and by learning that things aren't always as they seem. One experience that changed Scout was when Aunt Alexandra learns that Tom Robinson had died, but continues to entertain guests at her party.What are examples of Jem maturing? ›
- He goes to retrieve his trousers (Chapter 6).
- He organises the building of the snowman – not seeing this as a game, but taking a mature approach to finding resources (Chapter 8).
- He begins to recognise Boo's human side (Chapter 8) and the childish games end.
The now mature Jem leads Scout and Dill into town on the night that Atticus faces the lynch mob. Symbolically, this scene marks Jem's transition from boy to man, as he stands beside Atticus and refuses to “go home,” since only a child would do so. Though he disobeys his father, he does so not petulantly but maturely.What is an important quote from Scout? ›
“I learned nothing from you except how to be suspicious. I didn't know what hate was until I lived among you and saw you hating every day.”What is Scout famous quote? ›
“The sport in Scouting is to find the good in every boy and develop it.” “Teach Scouts not how to get a living, but how to live.” “The Scoutmaster guides the boy in the spirit of an older brother.” “The more responsibility the Scoutmaster gives his patrol leaders, the more they will respond.”How has Scout grown since the beginning of the book? ›
Scout changed a lot over the course of this story. She was exposed to many events that led to her gradually changing her way of life. She doesn't change as much as Jem does or as fast as him, but she still changes. She learns to mature, understand things better, and treat people with respect.What is Scout struggling to understand in chapter 14? ›
Scout and Jem are feeling the effects of Atticus's representation of Tom Robinson. While downtown, people whisper and make comments as they pass by, comments the children don't fully understand. Scout even has to ask Atticus what the word 'rape' means.What does Scout realize at the end of chapter 9? ›
In learning about the Tom Robinson case, Scout learns a lot about her father and her town. She learns that Atticus is defending Tom because it is the right thing to do, a decision that further confirms Scout's understanding of Atticus's strong moral compass.What realization does Scout have in chapter 19? ›
Scout realizes that Mayella must be the loneliest person in the world and is probably lonelier than Boo Radley.How does Jem's treatment of Scout show his maturity chapter 16? ›
How does Jem show maturity? Scout's tears demonstrates her recognition of the severity and imminent danger Atticus just faced. Jem's treatment of her, as he comforts her, displays his caring nature.
Jem is very similar to his father Atticus in courage and integrity. He idolizes his father and aspires to be like Atticus. Jem sees Atticus as his model for manhood, especially after Atticus shoots the rabid dog named Tim Johnson.Why is Jem considered a maturing? ›
Jem matured greatly throughout the duration of the book, starting to resemble and idolize his father, achieves the status of a guardian to his sister and introduces a whole new set of ideals in his lifestyle. He embodies the themes of growth.
Because Scout is only six years old when the novel begins, and eight years old when it ends, she has an unusual perspective that plays an important role in the work's meaning.Is Scout a tomboy? ›
In general, Scout is a tomboy because she prefers masculinity over femininity.How would you describe Scout? ›
Scout is intelligent and loves to read, but is also headstrong, outspoken, and a tomboy. As the novel opens, Scout is both innocent and intolerant of anything new or different.What is Scout's main conflict? ›
Major Conflict The childhood innocence with which Scout and Jem begin the novel is threatened by numerous incidents that expose the evil side of human nature, most notably the guilty verdict in Tom Robinson's trial and the vengefulness of Bob Ewell.How does Scout symbolize a mockingbird? ›
In this story of innocence destroyed by evil, the 'mockingbird' comes to represent the idea of innocence. Thus, to kill a mockingbird is to destroy innocence." The longest quotation about the book's title appears in Chapter 10, when Scout explains: "'Remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.What are 5 Scout values? ›
- enjoy what they are doing and have fun.
- take part in activities indoors and outdoors.
- learn by doing.
- share in spiritual reflection.
- take responsibility and make choices.
“A good leader is at the same level as those who are led. A good leader is not better than anybody else, but rather knows how to delegate tasks while also doing important tasks themselves.” “A good leader notices when someone is left out or not fitting in and makes an effort to find out why and bridge the gap.”What lessons can we learn from Scout? ›
The post details the importance of being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent as it relates to living your everyday life, whether you're a Scout or not.What are 2 lessons Atticus teaches Scout? ›
Atticus teaches Scout and Jem that you must know a person before you can make a judgement about them. Through defending Tom Robinson he shows them that a person's innocence cannot be based on their skin colour. By hiring Calpurnia the children learn that a person's social status does not determine their worth.What are some of the things that scouts teaches? ›
Scouting helps youth develop academic skills, self-confidence, ethics, leadership skills, and citizenship skills that influence their adult lives.
Scout displays emotional growth as she finds herself feeling empathy for others, becoming self-aware and learning self-control. An example in the novel in which she displayed emotional maturity is when she walked away from fighting Cecil Jacobs.How has Scout matured? ›
Scout showed maturity by feeling bad for Jem and going with him to read to Mrs. Dubose. She also matured and learned a good lesson from the whole situation.How has Scout changed from the beginning to the end? ›
Growing Up in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
She starts the novel as a naive, ill mannered, tomboy. By the last page, Scout has transformed into an understanding, empathetic, polite, young lady. There is not a specific age where a girl turns into a woman or where a boy turns into a man.
As Scout and Jem confront the issues of difference and belonging embedded in their community, Harper Lee's choice to tell the story through the eyes of Scout becomes more crucial to the story. Scout's wide-eyed naiveté heightens the impact of both the social expectations she resists and the injustices she sees unfold.What happens to Scout at the end of the story? ›
The novel ends after Bob Ewell attacks Scout and Jem, and Boo Radley rescues them, killing Bob in the process. Atticus and Sheriff Heck Tate have a conversation about how to deal with the situation, and Scout walks Boo home.How does Scout mature with Boo Radley? ›
As Scout matures she learns that Boo Radley is not so bad after all. As a young girl, Scout Finch was terrified of encountering her feared neighbor Boo Radley, but over the summer Scout starts to feel bad for the man who has no friends. Boo starts hiding gifts for Scout to find and then saves her life.How does Jem prove that he is maturing in chapter 23? ›
Jem proudly shows Scout his chest hair as a mark of his emergence into manhood. Scout's badge of incipient womanhood, the dress that she wears to the missionary circle meeting, doesn't suit her; she wears her usual tomboy trousers underneath.What events caused Scout to change? ›
Scout's first day of school plays a role in developing and affecting Scout's character as it marks a day where she is deemed old enough to learn in a public place, and what she earns isn't what was expected. She learns that the teachers view of learning does not include parental help.How old is Scout when the story ends? ›
Because Scout is only six years old when the novel begins, and eight years old when it ends, she has an unusual perspective that plays an important role in the work's meaning.Was Boo Radley autistic? ›
While Boo's autism initially leads to his isolation, it also serves as an unexpected superpower because it is arguably the reason he saves Scout and Jem. A symptom of autism is impulsivity, so Boo exercises self-defense against Mr. Ewell more quickly than a person without autism would.
Jem continues to show maturity through his conversations about the case with Atticus, no longer just accepting things but rather questioning them. He even tries to comfort Scout when she is irritated by Aunty. He also further speculates on Boo Radley, trying to show tolerance and gentility.Did Boo Radley save Scout? ›
Essays What Does the Ending Mean? The novel ends after Bob Ewell attacks Scout and Jem, and Boo Radley rescues them, killing Bob in the process.What is the most important lesson Atticus teaches Scout? ›
“If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. 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.”What lessons does Atticus teach his children? ›
While Atticus instills his own values of honesty and freedom into his children, he also teaches them to understand others who may not live like them or hold those same values. One example is when Scout and the other children got in trouble with Atticus for trying to tempt Boo Radley out of his house.What does Atticus teach Scout in Chapter 9? ›
But Atticus could not live with himself if he didn't do his best as a lawyer for Tom. Atticus reminds Scout that the people of Maycomb are their friends, and he encourages Scout to use her head instead of her fists to deal with her classmates.