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

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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…show more content…
Therefore the author implies that Scout can only grow from this point. This also allows Scout to move with the plot, because the fire is the turning point of the novel. It separates the childish games of Scout, Jem, and Dill, and their Boo Radley phase from the very adult world of racism and the Tom Robinson trial. By showing Scout at her climax, and connecting it to the turning point of the novel, Lee can show the reader a more noticeable change in her character. She also stresses Scout’s moments of bluntness, because it is the contrast between her mature and immature instances that make her mature moments more notable. For example, when Scout sees Boo Radley for the first time, she shows maturity beyond her years. The ordeal was explained by Scout as, “Our neighbor’s image blurred with my sudden tears. ‘Hey Boo’ I said” (Lee 362). The way Scout first reacts by saying hi so calmly shows her maturity. She handles the situation so profoundly by instantly treating him like an equal, something that is difficult even for the adults in Maycomb. This helps out the moral of gradual maturity from innocence because it was her original immaturity that got her so involved with Boo Radley in the first place. Had she not been so obsessed with him, the direct understanding with him would not be possible. Therefore, this proves that Scout’s childhood habits ironically push her closer to growing up. As childhood innocence
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