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Maturity is a coming of age when a person is growing emotionally and mentally. Maturity is gained by experiences and decision-making, thus learning from mistakes. This is evident in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Through characterization and symbolism Lee displays maturity. Jem Finch demonstrates growing maturity throughout the novel. After Tom Robinson’s trial, Scout reveals Jem’s feelings. “It was Jem’s turn to cry.” Scout uncovers, “His face was streaked with angry tears as we made our way through the cheerful crowd,” (TKAM 284). Jem understands the trial is not fair because of race. He is mature enough to realize this while Scout is not. Another example of Jem’s maturity is exemplified when he is fulfilling his obligation to read to Mrs. Dubose. Scout describes, “ ‘So you brought that dirty little sister of yours did you?’ was her greeting… ‘My sister ain’t dirty and I ain’t scared of you’, although I noticed his knees shaking,” (TKAM 141). Rather than Jem replying to Mrs. Dubose with an insult, he dismisses her comment. Furthermore, this showcases his patience and tolerance, which comes with maturity. Finally, Jem validates his maturity when the Finch children find Dill under Scout’s bed. “You oughta let your mother know where you are.” announced Jem, “You oughta let her know you are here…”(TKAM 187). At this point Jem knows the right way to handle this situation is to let an adult know where Dill is. Even though Scout believes she can keep him under her bed forever, Jem recognizes the reality. When Jem’s maturity is put to the test he demonstrates good judgment and decision-making. Scout, as well as Jem, portrays maturity all through the novel. Aunt Alexandra is hosting a Missionary Circle ... ... middle of paper ... ...h. “Someone had filled our knot-hole with cement.” Scout explains, “ ‘Don’t you cry, now, Scout…don’t cry now, don’t you worry-’ (TKAM 83). Jem is trying to put on a strong front so Scout does not cry and get upset about the hole. Once more Jem is illustrating maturity by protecting his sister’s feelings. All through the novel there are symbols of maturity. Jem and Scout mature greatly from the start to the end of the novel. By the end of the book they are smarter with decisions and emotional behavior. People will go through maturity in life, and hopefully grow eqmotionally and mentally. Recalling her experiences as a six-year-old from an adult perspective, Jean Louise Finch, nicknamed “Scout,” describes the circumstances involving her widowed father, Atticus, and his legal defense of Tom Robinson, a local black man falsely accused of raping a white woman.

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