How Does Harper Lee Portray the Themes of Innocence, Maturity and Growing Up in "to Kill a Mockingbird"?

1053 Words Oct 18th, 2012 5 Pages
In ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ written by Harper Lee, the author has used numerous different methods to portray the themes of innocence, maturity and growing up. These themes were put in so that the audience could become more empathetic towards the characters, especially the protagonists. She depicts these themes through characters, events, using symbolism, imagery and contrast located throughout the book.

Firstly, Harper Lee shows the themes of innocence, maturity and growing up through the main characters of the novel. Due to this particular theme, the two main specimens would be Jem and Scout. Both these characters start as innocent, carefree and typical children until the dire events unroll, they start to lose their purity as they
…show more content…
She would get a better understanding of this as the novel progresses. Scout also learns more about maturity when she experiences hypocrisy from her teacher, “Over here we don’t believe in persecuting anybody. Persecution comes from people who are prejudiced. Pre-ju-dice,” She is contradicting herself, saying that it is acceptable to persecute blacks but not Jews. It dawned on Scout that people are hypocrites and have double standards when it suits them. The biggest step the children took towards growing up was during the Tom Robinson trials. There, the children received full exposure to the evils, malevolence, prejudice and sorrow of the cruel world as a white man accuses an innocent black man for raping when all Tom ever wanted to achieve was to help others. The children understood what was going on completely and was therefore changed because of it. At the unexpected climax of the novel, the children have an unpleasant encounter with Bob Ewell who wanted to take revenge on Atticus for humiliating him by killing his children. This was an absolutely outrageous act of insanity but also taught the children how dangerous reality could be, finalizing their journey into adulthood.
Harper Lee also represents the themes through key symbolism. The most important symbol and the one that represented innocence and goodness was the mockingbird. Tom Robinson, Boo Radley and even Atticus and Scout were the metaphoric mockingbirds in the novel. When Scout asked Miss Maudie about
Open Document