To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Pain of Growing Up
Length: 501 words (1.4 double-spaced pages)
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Growing up is one of the most important stages of human life. It is the part when humans reach maturity, become adults, and attain full growth. Also, it means one more thing. It means understanding more about the society. Harper Lee's, To Kill A Mocking Bird, shows the different ways of growing up. There are three characters who go through the process of growing up, Scout mentally grows up, Jem goes through a mental growing up that every adolescent will go through and aunt Alexandra also goes through a mental growing up.
Scout is the narrator of the whole book. She is the young daughter of a lawyer, Atticus. They live in Maycomb County with Scout's brother and Aunt in the 1930's. At the beginning of the book, she doesn’t know much about the prejudice of Southern America. She basically knows nothing about prejudice. She thinks every person is the same as her. But she finds that out at last. She also finally finds out that most people are nice. She just has to put herself in those people's situations. "As I made my way home, I thought Jem and I would get grown but there wasn't much else left for us to learn, except possibly algebra" (Lee pg. #). This statement shows that she understands the prejudice and people's thinking, at last. That makes her life a lot different.
Jem is Scout's brother. He is a little older than Scout. He also becomes familiar with the prejudice of Maycomb County through the story. In addition, he grows up like most teenagers “He was difficult to live with, inconsistent, moody” “said Scout” (pg. #). That statement is made when Jem starts to grow up. He doesn’t want to play with Scout like a little kid anymore. He wants to be a man.
Aunt Alexandra is Atticus' sister. She moves to live with Scout and Jem because she wants to teach them the right way of growing up since their mom is dead. As she watches them grow up, she grows up mentally also. “People up there set them free, but you don't see them setting at the table with them. At least we don't have the deceit to say to them ‘yes, you are as good as we are but stay away from us’ said Mrs.
Merriweather” (pg. #). That statement makes Aunt Alexandra to realize the prejudice of Maycomb County. She starts to change later on.
Every person needs to grow up. There are many ways to grow up. In this novel, three kinds of growing up are demonstrated. Among all three, growing mentally is the most important. If someone doesn't grow up like Scout did, that person can never live in the society, even in the present time.
How did the growing up of Scout, Jem and Aunt Alexandra give them a better understanding of their society? Did Jem grow mentally? What were the differences between the mental growth of Scout and Aunt Alexandra?