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Bildungsroman

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Throughout human history, the transformation from naïve children to mature adults has been of profound importance. The various customs to prove maturation in different cultures shows the widespread significance of this transition. Within literature, the variety of passages to maturation spanning from peaceful and blissful to depressing and unbearable exhibits the embodiment of this tedious process. Bildungsroman stories embody all of these different paths from the common starting point of birth. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one such bildungsroman story that is the story of a girl’s maturation contrasted with the children around her. Through the utilization of different economic and familial backgrounds during the Great Depression…show more content…
Parallel to the Finch family, both families rely on a single father with a deceased wife to provide for the family; however, their abusive alcoholic father neglects the large number of children in the Ewell family and deprives them of a healthy home unlike the Finch family. The characterization of Burris Ewell testifies to the lack of a structured home life. Burris is, “the filthiest human [Scout] has ever seen. His neck was dark gray, the backs of his hands were rusty, and his fingernails were black deep into the quick.” This unsanitary description of a first grade boy shows the lack of attention paid to the children in the Ewell residence. Burris additionally has lice, portraying the lack of medical attention afforded to the children in the Ewell family. This behavior normally would see the kids stripped from Mr. Ewell’s custody; however, the Ewell family receives autonomy because despite the fact that Mr. Ewell uses all of their welfare money on alcohol and ammunition for his poaching habit, the poached animals are the only food consumed by the children in the Ewell family, and the kids have invoked pity from the population of Maycomb. This passive policy transcends to the false accusation of Tom Robinson in the rape of Mr. Ewell’s nineteen-year-old daughter Mayella. Despite the physical age of Mayella being one of an adult, Mayella is still a child at heart. The diction of her testimony during Tom Robinson’s trial confirms that she is uneducated and immature from lack of interactions with civilized society outside of her daily interactions with the minority community down the street from the Ewell’s property behind the county dump. Even simple questions elicited juvenile answers; when asked her age, she responded, “nineteen-and-a-half.” The vast majority of mature adults would not describe their age in
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