Scout’s Quest to Maturity: To Kill a Mockingbird

The pursuance of seeking an idea, place, or person is an individual that possesses aspiration in their daily lives. You may find some challenges on the way but taking every mistake as a learning experience helps you excel and improve form it. In humans, especially children, having aspiration in something results in open opportunities to discover the world. In her novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee reveals the theme, coming of age, through the characterization Scout. Through the characterization of Scout, Lee illustrates that coming of age involves seeing the world differently in the inequality of bias in society, understanding precisely how the adult world works, and undergoing betrayal of innocence.

Originally, Scout views her town as a narrow-minded society, in which they are impassive about cultures, ideas, or people and their own outside experience. She first encounters this situation when Burris Ewell had an incident with their teacher, Miss Caroline. A classmate explains to her that, “Whole school’s full of ‘em. They come first day every year and the leave.” (Lee 30). To differentiate the different people at her school based on their looks, Scout grasps the fact that there are contrasting levels of hardships in her society. Another example of Scout distinguishing the prejudice in her community emerges when she questions her father, Atticus, and his ability concerning Tom Robinson’s case. Scout declares, “Well, most folks seem to think they’re right and you’re wrong….” (Lee 120). Her questioning Atticus demonstrates how people in Maycomb think they are upright and that whatever the majority is what they believe. Scout is forced to conform to this because of Atticus’s vogue due in Tom Robinson’s trail.

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When it comes to finding the perspective of the adult world, it takes perseverance in a person to do it. Even though Scout is not fully a grown-up, she faces events that are not only about her. An example showing this is when Scout received advice from Atticus, “As Atticus had once advised me to do, I tried to climb into Jem’s skin and walk around in it.” (Lee 65). Lee uses this repetition of Scout’s capability to see herself in her brother’s shoes because it manifests that she must think more critically about how people around view things. Understanding this concept progresses a big step in Scout’s life of interpreting the adult world. Later, Atticus gets doubtful about the case and having to take criticism. By being truthful with her, Atticus provides a substantial opportunity to Scout as she sees how being an adult is. When he remarks, “But remember this, no matter how bitter things get, they’re still our friends and this is still our home.” (Lee 87). Afterward, Scout then looks up to Atticus as her mentor. Now that Scout has officially put her trust into Atticus, everything whether big or small that he says or does tremendously affects her life. When Mrs. Dubose goes too far insulting Jem and Scout about their father’s work, she exclaims, “Not only a Finch waiting on tables but one in the courthouse lawing for niggers!” (Lee 117). This statement impacts Scout’s transition from a young girl to going into the adult world because it was the first offense that she had heard from an adult. When children are faced with such cruel language and uncertainty from others it leads to a negative mindset and loss of hope about specific things that they believe in. Additionally, this shows Scout that even individuals in her community have little respect for one another, which displays the discourteous of people in becoming mature.

Harper Lee ultimately shows coming of age through Scout’s betrayal of innocence. During the exposition of the novel, Scout demonstrates this when she blunders Miss Maudie’s allegation of abuse concerning Atticus instead of Mr. Arthur Radley. She states to Miss Maudie, “Atticus don’t ever do anything to Jem and me in the house that he don’t do in the yard.” (Lee 51). Scout ensures that it is her responsibility to defend her father. This suggests that other adults like Mr. Radley, are not superior people like Atticus when they are in exclusive areas. Discovering the truth about Boo Radley represents a big loss of innocence for Scout. She had always thought of him as a frightening individual. Later, Scout regains her speculation of Boo when she states, “My small fantasy about him was alive again.” (Lee 312). Neither Jem nor Scout had made visual contact with Boo, their imaginations took over their beliefs of rumors they heard. From leaving gifts in trees to saving their lives, the actual person they assumed to be terrifying demented into being a considerate and dependable person. In the long run, Scout acquires the knowledge that people are not who they seem to be at first, but once you connect with them and discover the profound secret of how they are themselves it not only provides a superlative lesson that can be learned but it transforms how you see things in your everyday life.

In conclusion, Harper Lee uses Scout to unmask coming of age in the injustice of society, experiencing adult life, and the sacrifice of innocence. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, it broadcasts many historical events and the attitude people had back then for blacks. The novel also retrieves the events that occurred during the past relating to prejudice and subjective individuals. Coming of age is important because it broadens our eyes to see the obstacles to maturing and growing up. This should be a topic that gets frequently talked about because it not only exists in books but relates to real-world problems that humans in our time encounter today. We always face hardships when growing up, but we take those hardships and turn them into life-long lessons that can be passed down to future generations.

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Scout’s Quest to Maturity: To Kill a Mockingbird. (2022, Aug 29). Retrieved from