Maturity And Personal Growth Often Appear Through The Experience

1628 WordsFeb 20, 20177 Pages
Maturity and personal growth often appear through the experience of successes, failures, tragedies, and most importantly, the loss of childhood innocence. Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird presents the ideas of coming of age and the loss of innocence while the Great Depression was occurring in the 1930s. Racism and gender inequality were widespread issues during this time period which gave rise to the Civil Rights Movement. To Kill a Mockingbird teaches its readers that the coexistence of tragedy and the loss of innocence affect personal growth through the way in which several innocent characters suffer the wrath of prejudices, resulting in imprisonment, murder, and near-death experiences. Harper Lee relates many of the characters…show more content…
Harper Lee’s life is manifested through the symbol of the mockingbird which represents innocence in the novel. The illustration of the mockingbird is present in several characters including: Tom Robinson, Arthur “Boo” Radley, Dolphus Raymond, and Atticus Finch. Tom Robinson is accused of the rape of Mayella Ewell. Scout and Jem observe the case from above and hear the verdict, but at this point in the novel, they do not understand the prevalence of racism or what it means. Consequently, a character who has been marked as guilty for the majority of the novel emerges as an innocent man. According to Ruby Wall, who was raised in the Great Depression, “A mockingbird represents communication, being joyful, unity, security, and even purity.” Arthur “Boo” Radley is depicted as a mockingbird in the novel. Accusations of murder constantly spread around about Boo. In reality, Boo never harmed anyone or anything and remains pure. Following the image of a mockingbird, Boo merely wanted to fit into society by being like others. Although he is isolated, Boo continuously tries to benefit others rather than himself. Boo’s selflessness can be seen when he leaves presents for the children as well as when he mends Jem’s pants and leaves them for him on the fence. Another example is when Miss Maudie’s house catches on fire. During the incident, he places a blanket on Scout to ensure a sense of security and warmth for her. Similarly, the other mockingbirds in the novel are merely

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