Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird: Scout's Childhood Innocence and Growing Maturity

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird: Scout's Childhood Innocence and Growing Maturity

Length: 1113 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

One’s childhood innocence is never lost, it simply plants the seed for the flower of maturity to bloom. It seems that almost every adult chooses to either forget or ignore this childhood vulnerability. But ironically, it was this quality that pushed them into adulthood in the first place. At the peak of their childhood, their post climactic innocence allows room for the foundation of maturity to begin to grow. In the sleepy southern town of Maycomb this is exactly what happens to eight years old Jean Louise “Scout” Finch. In To Kill a Mockingbird the character Scout is forced to surround herself with a very adult situation, when a trial comes to the small town of Maycomb. The trial raises the question that shakes the entire town up, what prevails, racism, or the truth? And over the course of the novel the author shows how such events affect the way Scout grows over the course of the story. In the timeless novel To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee uses Scout’s incentives of purity and the quest for parental approval to stress the novel’s central thesis, the process of growing up.
Scout’s innocence and naivety push her to act the way she does, and also allow her to begin her own journey down the path to adulthood. Her immaturity becomes exceptionally clear in the middle of a neighborhood crisis. When her neighbor’s house catches on fire all Scout is worried about is retrieving a book because she is scared that her friend, Dill, will get mad if it burns in the fire. When she hears that her house might burn down her only words are, “That Tom Swift book, it ain’t mine, it’s Dill’s” (Lee 93). This quote shows her juvenility because when her whole house is threatened by a perilous fire she only says that she has to get Dill’s book. Such a...


... middle of paper ...


...s that she is capable of harnessing ideas that not even all adults can apply, as long as she has enough motivation. As a result, Atticus’ attention is enough drive for Scout to take a huge step forward. Just by trying to impress her father Scout learns a major lesson that allows her to mature.
In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird the moral of the novel, the process of growing up, is played up by connecting it to Scout’s motivations of childishness and the need for parental consent. Scout’s case is normal for a child on the verge of adolescence. By looking at a growing child’s example there is much to learn. Unfortunately, most adults try to forget their stage of innocence, act like they were never as vulnerable as a child. But the truth is, everyone can improve their outlook on life by just looking at someone like Scout, a child whose petals are starting to open.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Loss Of Innocence By Harper Lee

- The illusion of innocence is deeply instilled in the outlook of children. Reality soon takes its grip as kids begin to grow and mature, and they lose their pure qualities that they have once possessed. Their father Atticus shelters Jem and Scout from the town’s disease, teaching them the act of sympathy and how to distinguish the good aspects over glaring at the imperfections of people. The loss of innocence portrayed in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is exposed as the lives of Jem, Scout, and Dill go through their racist and prejudice society, learning how the worlds dreamlike qualities is nothing more than just a childhood fable....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Atticus Finch]

Strong Essays
1307 words (3.7 pages)

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee Essay

- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a fascinating story that has captured the hearts of many readers. The main character and narrator Scout Finch, or otherwise known as Jean Louise Finch, speaks the voice of a young girl who grows up in a small town called Maycomb County in the 1930’s. Her father, Atticus Finch, is a non-racist lawyer in a very prejudice town. Throughout the novel, Harper Lee includes many themes, but one of the most important one explains the loss of innocence and growing up....   [tags: Loss of Innocence]

Strong Essays
749 words (2.1 pages)

Racism, Prejudice, And Innocence That Occurs Essay

- Throughout the novel Harper Lee explores the racism, prejudice, and the innocence that occurs throughout the book. She shows these topics through her strong use of symbolism throughout the story. Even though To Kill a Mockingbird was written in 1960’s the powerful symbolism this book contributes to our society is tremendous. This attribute is racism (Smykowski). To Kill a Mockingbird reveals a story about Scout’s childhood growing up with her father and brother, in an accustomed southern town that believed heavily in ethnological morals (Shackelford)....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird, Black people, Harper Lee]

Strong Essays
1551 words (4.4 pages)

Childhood Presented in To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

- Childhood Presented in To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Childhood should be a time of great learning, curiosity, joy, playfulness and guiltlessness. The reality is that it can be a time of extreme vulnerability and dependency. The innocence and fragility of a child is easily manipulated and abused if not nurtured and developed. Family relationships are crucial in the flourishing of young minds, but other childhood associations are important too. These include school life, friends, play and peer-group....   [tags: English Literature Childhood Essays]

Strong Essays
3582 words (10.2 pages)

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee Essay

- To Kill a Mockingbird Research Paper In To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee it is very evident that her life experiences when paired with the era in which she lived helped her develop this piece of iconic American literature. The themes and subtle critiques of the society she grew up in are reflected in To Kill a MockingBird, which is what made this book one of the greatest literary works of all time. She grew up in a time of great social inequality and prejudice towards African Americans.This is one of the many examples of her life that formed a major theme in this book, her foremost popular work....   [tags: Author's Background]

Strong Essays
1323 words (3.8 pages)

Essay Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

- To Kill a Mockingbird, written by the very talented and influential author Harper Lee, was published in the 1960’s. This novel was immediately successful. It won the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a popular book read throughout American literature. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird tells the story of a family growing up during the Great Depression through a series of symbolic events. “Symbolism is, indeed, used extensively by Harper Lee in her timeless classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. The symbolism reveals the prejudice and narrow-mindedness of the common citizens of Maycomb County, the fears they have, and all of the immoral things they do” (Symkowski)....   [tags: stroy and character analysis]

Strong Essays
1627 words (4.6 pages)

Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee Essay

- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee shows forms of discrimination being social classes, Southern living, and social issues. This novel helps to reflect on all these issues that occurred throughout the novel. Also, the novel shows what was happening during the 1930’s when the book was written and then later published in 1960. To Kill a Mockingbird obviously deals with prejudice, especially in the form of racism; however, there are several types of prejudices among all the characters in the novel....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird, White people, Black people]

Strong Essays
1956 words (5.6 pages)

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee Essay

- As children grow up, they open their eyes to the harsh truths in the world around them that they once did not understand or question. This is experienced by the main characters of Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The story is of a girl called Scout and her older brother, Jem, who go through the trials of growing up in the fictional small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930s. Racism is rampant in the mindset of the townspeople, shown when the children’s lawyer father, Atticus, takes the case of an obviously innocent African-American man and they convict him in their hearts before the trial even starts....   [tags: Character Analysis, Scout, Jem]

Strong Essays
1486 words (4.2 pages)

To Kill a Mockingbird Provides Insight into the Past Essay

- Historically based novels give people insight into how things were many years ago. For example To Kill a Mocking-Bird by Harper Lee would be relevant to a person studying America in the early twentieth century. The story is set in Maycomb County, Alabama in the 1930’s around the time that the author herself was growing up and while the book is based on her life, she found inspiration for the setting, characters and storyline in event s that took place in her own childhood. For example in 1931 when Harper Lee was five, nine black men were accused of Raping two white women....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Harper Lee]

Strong Essays
2010 words (5.7 pages)

Us of Symbols in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee Essay

- Question; Describe an important symbol or symbols in the text you have studied and analyse how the symbol helped to develop ideas in the text. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a story of racial prejudice and social class set in a time when such narrow-mindedness was considered acceptable and apart of every day life in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama. Narrated and based around Scout (Jean Louise) Finch and the many ordeals she and her brother (Jem) face in the years of their growing up; out of the childhood innocence they once possessed to realise the true evils of their community and shed false pretences surrounding the innocence of two such characters as Boo Radley and Tom Robinson...   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird Essays]

Strong Essays
1191 words (3.4 pages)