The Journey from Childhood to Adulthood

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Every child has a playful, immature attitude, and because they are introduced to the world for only a short amount of time, it takes time for them to develop and adjust into a new environment as they grow up. In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, two of the main characters experience many situations which bring a new adult personality of maturity, wisdom, and most of all responsibility. Jeremy Finch (Jem) and Jean Louise Finch (Scout) face many life changing obstacles which in turn matures them leaving behind their innocent beliefs which makes them knowledgeable citizens in a society full of prejudice.

One of the main characters; Jem, faces many difficulties and life lessons that acknowledge him to show maturity. Jem finally understands Boo Radley, leaving behind his immature games that tease Boo, which reveals his stage of ultimately growing up. Jem discovers that Boo Radley is not a monster that he once believed and understands him when Jem asks and declares that, “… If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand something.

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I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time… it’s because he wants to stay inside. ” (Lee 240). As he realizes the story of Boo Radley, he picks up his maturity by having feelings for others and understanding his issues. This takes away his immatureness from teasing Boo Radley and makes a more respectful person that now cares of the issues around him and the society. Moreover, Jem also shows his maturity when he discovers that after the summer of the Tom Robimson trial, the world is full of different kinds of people.

Jem makes a clear conclusion that, “… There’s four kinds of folks in the world… the ordinary kinds like us and the neighbours … the kind like the Cunninghams… the kind like the Ewells… and the Negroes. ” (Lee 239) . The first step to become wise is always to understand the community because it stands for the foundation in wisdom. Therefore, since Jem is capable in making such a difficult study, it is clear that he is wiser than before. So overall by gaining knowledge, Jem is now capable of understanding conversations and ideas which absolutely support his way to become an adult.

The other main character; Scout is very childish and disrespectful at first but further in the novel, she shows maturity by having feelings for others and understanding the world around her through life lessons and experiences. When Scout has come to realize that she is no longer afraid of Boo Radley and has the courage to stand on the Radley’s front porch, she finally understands him and realizes how he really is. Now that Scout has finally seen Boo Radley, Atticus tells her later on “Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them. (Lee 296). She realized through stages of change, that prejudice of people is generally not exact, and what people think of Boo is untrue. Furthermore, Scout is forced to understand that Tom Robinson is being treated differently just because he is black, and again realizes how people can be prejudice because her father has taken on the trial for an innocent black man. It shows how Scout is upset and confused about the issue when Scout asks, “Who in this town did anything to help Tom Robinson, just who? ” (Lee 228).

This is where she still understands that the issue of racism is in continuation. Scout is learning more and more about the real world and by walking in somebody else’s shoes. She now has feelings for others and also understands the meaning of prejudice. Therefore, Scout matures through the duration of the novel, by watching the events happen around her. In conclusion, Jeremy Finch and Jean Louise Finch are more knowledgeable citizens in Macomb colony from many situations that teach them a lesson and in turn show growth and maturity in them.

Jem shows a lot of maturity by understanding and caring about society and its issues around him. Scout also reveals maturity later in the novel, by learning from lessons and the events that happen around her. Indeed, they both demonstrate maturity, wisdom, and responsibilities. In general, children are innocent and always have immatureness in a time of their lives, but everyone goes through their experiences as they grow up and mature, confirming that growing up is a natural transition of life.

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The Journey from Childhood to Adulthood. (2016, Nov 14). Retrieved from

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