In one’s eyes,maturing is when a character grows to understand the concept of the world in amore complex manner. While changing physically and mentally can be consideredmaturing by others, true maturity is only achieved when a character develops anadvanced understanding of their surroundings and goes through a series ofevents which ultimately shapes one’s individuality. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, establishes in a smallsouthern town called Maycomb in the 1930s, where racial discrimination is veryprominent in society.
The novel progresses with a young girl growing up inMaycomb named Scout who lives with her older brother, Jem and her father, Atticus.In their neighbourhood, lives a man, named Arthur Radley (Boo) who is perceivedin society’s views as a dangerous and psychotic man who attacks his father withscissors. This results in Boo staying inside of the Radley house and has notbeen seen for many years. In the novel, ToKill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee conveys the vision that in one’s life, anindividual experiences many events and goes through several stages of lifewhich eventually leads to a person’s maturity as demonstrated by the charactersJean Louise Finch, Arthur Radley and Jeremy Finch.Firstly, Scout isan innocent young and hot-tempered girl who acts without thinking, but afterlife-changing experiences, her mindset becomes more mature.
To begin with,Scout greatly matures when she controls her temper and obeys what her fatherhas instructed to her. Scout illustrates her anger management when one day atschool, her classmate Cecil Jacobs, is calling her father names and she”remembered what Atticus had said, then dropped her fists and walked away,”Scout’s a cow—ward!” ringing in my ears. It was the first time I ever walkedaway from a fight” (Lee 102). It is not until Atticus tells Scout not to fighton his behalf, that Scout finds the courage inside her to walk away. Scout isfully aware how her father is defending a black man named Tom Robinson and sheknows all the obstacles she will face due to the case he is fighting.
However,while Cecil provokes her by taunting her about her dad, she obeys and keeps herdad’s words by simply refusing and ignoring what he says. Her actions here showhow she’s able to control her anger towards Cecil’s name calling and shedevelops that maturity that she needs. She realizes that fighting is not alwaysthe best option for her to solve her problems.
This shows that no matter whothe person is or what trouble they’re facing, people mature in their owndistinctive ways. Ultimately, Scout extremely matures as she listens to herfather’s word and does not fight Cecil Jacobs. Next, Scout demonstrates hermaturity as her view on Boo Radley drastically changes as she develops apositive relationship with him. After Boo saves the kids from Bob Ewell and says bye to Jem and then Scout “…led him to the front porch, where his uneasy steps halted. He was still holdingScout’s hand and he gave no sign of letting me go. “Will you take me home?” …”Mr.
Arthur, bend your arm down here, like that. That’s right, sir.” I slippedmy hand into the crook of his arm” (Lee 373). Scout begins to comprehend thetrue individuality of Boo as she sees him from a new and friendly perspective.
In the beginning of the novel, she believes the rumors the town says about Boo Radleyand considers him as a monster. But her thought gradually changes as sheacknowledges Boo’s good side based on his actions. She expresses herunderstanding and appreciation to Boo because when they were holding hands, shecan bear it. Scout has the ability to refuse to hold hands, but she sees him asa harmless man and continues to show lack of maturity by holding his hand andescorting him home. Hence, Scout comes to the conclusion and proves her maturityas her attitude and viewpoint changes about Boo Radley. Last, Scout finds herown path to maturity when she gets exposure on how a woman should behave andact in Maycomb.
Scout’s aunt, Alexandra Finch is hosting a Ladies MissionaryTea where the ladies of Maycomb gathered and talked about the ongoing issues inthe town. Scout decides to assist the ladies as well as getting the opportunityto be a part of the gathering when “… Aunt Alexandra smiled brilliantly. “Staywith us, Jean Louise,” she said. This was a part of her campaign to teach me tobe a lady” (Lee 307). Scout gives an actual thought about how she should bemore like a lady but because of the Ladies Missionary Tea Scout’s views ofwomanhood, influenced by how Aunt Alexandra.
This is a different and uniqueexperience for Scout as the way she acts, dresses, and walks like a boy isbecause when she was little, her mother died. Leaving her in a house with twomen, Jem and Atticus. Scout has a lot of masculine influence and manly traitsbut no feminine influence to guide to be mature like a woman. This MissionaryTea is her first look on how the ladies are and get a better understanding ofhow she should be like them the future. Even though Scout may look like a girland dress like a tomboy on the outside, she matures and develops the sense ofhow womanhood is like on the inside. She has an eager to learn from this TeaParty about how womanhood is like. Secondly, Arthur Radley (Boo) is falselyrumored to be a dangerous man and a monster but due to the lack maturity heshows, To begin with, Boo establishes developmentas he attempts to communicate with Scout and Jem due to his loneliness. Asmentioned before, Boo stays inside his house due to the rumor that he attackedhis father with scissors and is now believed to be a “monster” in the society’seyes.
However, Boo stays out of sight for many years and his only communicationwith anyone other than his family for many years. He decides to come out of hiscomfort zone and communicate with the kids when he starts giving “… two soapdolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. Wenever put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given Boonothing, and it made me sad” (Lee 373).
After years, Boo changes the kid’sperspective that he is not that bad of a person that he claimed to be by thetown. Boo deciding to interact with the kids takes a lot of courage due to thefact he hasn’t come out of his house for years. Instead of leaving a letter orany piece writing clarifying how he is not the monster he is, his thought isvery unique, and he decides to give gifts such a two carved soap dolls withScouts and Jem’s face and figure. The gifts Boo leaves at the tree’s knotholedemonstrate how caring and thoughtful he is because a great amount of effortand work has been put on carving the soap doll as well as he had to secretlyput those gifts without his family finding out. Next, Boo Radley ‘s personalitygreatly changes when he leaves the Radley House and puts a blanket over Scoutduring the fire.
As the novel goes on, Boo starts to secretly involve himselfin Jem and Scout’s lives. For instance, the night Ms. Maudie’s house caught onfire, it became very crowded that not many people that Boo Radley came out. But,Jem had noticed Boo and told Scout that “Someday, maybe, she can thank himfor covering her up.” “Thank who?” Scout asked. “Boo Radley.
You were so busylooking at the fire you didn’t know it when he put the blanket around you.” …”Boo sneaked out of the house—turn ’round—sneaked up, an’ went like this!”(Lee 96). It is evident that Boo cares and concerns for the kids which makeshim one step closer to maturity. He also illustrates development in himself bylooking after the kids, more specifically, in this case, Scout, as he doesn’twant any harm to happen to her. Moreover, it is also evident that he sneakedout of the house and is aware that if got caught his family member, he wouldhave to face consequences for his action of leaving the house. But, hecourageously leaves the house to assist Scout and drapes a blanket over herduring the fire which he has successfully done.
Last, Boo Radley demonstrateshis true maturation when he saves Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell trying to killthem. An ignorant, little man named Bob Ewell tries to kill Jem and Scoutbecause of the help Atticus gave to the black man named Tom Robinson who isfalsely accused of raping a white woman. While defending for Tom at the trials,Atticus reveals many bad things about Bob and has the whole town convinced thathe is a liar and ultimately, he rapes the woman.
This lead Bob raging forrevenge by killing Atticus’s children, Jem and Scout. But Boo ultimately savesScout and Jem and from her view, she sees a “man was walking with the staccatosteps of someone carrying a load too heavy for him. He was going around thecorner. He was carrying Jem” (Lee 352). This establishes that Boo recognizesthe good and evil in this town. Boo matures physically when he rescued Jem fromMr.
Ewell. Boo finally finds his inner strength and decides to enter the woodsand save Jem and Scout. By doing this, he proves that he has learned toovercome his fear and be around others. Boo showes courage and a sign ofmaturity because he never comes out of his house and he put his own life atrisk to save the children from Bob Ewell killing them. When Jem is injured, Boodoes not flee or just leave him behind, he takes initiative to help him back tosafety. Therefore, Boo portrays courage very effectively as he demonstratestrue maturity by overcoming his fear and saving the children. Lastly, Jem begins as a childishplayboy with a vivid imagination who after entering the adolescent world,effectively matures in different levels.
To begin with, Jem showsdevelopment and a sign of maturity in difficult situation where the people inthe town we talking poorly about Atticus. When Scout and Jem’s father, Atticus defends a black manin court, the town’s imperfections begin to show. For instance, when Jemgoes to school and the news continues to spread because … the school buzzedwith talk about Atticus defending Tom Robinson, none of which wascomplimentary. I wouldn’t fight publicly for Atticus, but the family wasprivate ground” (Lee 301-302). In these situations, who wouldn’t be willing tofight someone that is talking poorly about their father? This helps show how Jem hasmatures because of the rumors Jem has to hold his head high and mentally talkhimself though not getting in fights and staying in control. He become morelike his father in the way he collects himself and matures in his mentalwell-beinging.
Next, Jem continues to grow and mature whenacknowledges his wrongdoing and compensates for it. Ms. Dubose talks poorly aboutAtticus by saying hurtful comments about him which makes Jem furious whichmakes him cut Mrs. Dubose’s camellia’s. For his wrongdoing and to make up forhis act, “Mrs.Dubose wantsJem to read to her.” She wants Jem to come every afternoon after school andSaturdays and read to her out loud for two hours.
Atticus, do I have to?””Certainly.” “But she wants me to do it for a month.” “Then you’ll do it for amonth.
” (Lee 140). Jem does not refuse, instead he accepts his punishment forwhat he did and obeys his father’s words. Although he sees evil and rudeness on the inside ofMrs. Dubose, he greatly matures by realizing his mistake and going through theconsequences.
The shows one of the stages of growing up to a better person insociety. Thus, Jem learns that the best way of solving a problem is not bydoing something wrong to hurt others because they did, instead simply ignoringand walking away is a better way to solve it. Last, Jem’smaturation is significantly shown not only by mentally, but also physically.
When Jem notices his first sign of puberty, he shows Scout as “He unbuttonedhis shirt, grinning shyly. ‘Well what?’ ‘Well can’t you see it?’ ‘Well no.”Well it’s hair.’ ‘Where?’ ‘There. Right there'” (Lee 119). When Jem shows his chest hair tohis sister Scout that one night, he does quite secretly and when he finishes hemakes certain that Scout keeps this a secret.
Even though what he has is not alot this show how Jem is embracing his feeling towards being a man and isbecoming more responsibly, in many ways this shows he is kind of acting like afather for Scout when Atticus is not there. This mostly comes with age, but italso shows how Scout can see Jem as a protector from bad because he is agingand becoming more manly. As much as maturing mentally can be a bigelement in life, physically changing by appearance is a part of maturity thatis needed.