Theme Of Coming Of Age In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Coming of age is an influential part of many people’s lives. They begin to leave behind their innocent childhood views and develop a more realistic view on the world around them as they step forward into adulthood. (Need to add transition) Many authors have a coming of age theme in their books; specifically, Harper Lee portrays a coming of age theme in his book To Kill A Mockingbird. Through the journeys of their childhoods, Jem and Scout lose their innocence while experiencing their coming of age moment, making them realize how unfair Maycomb really is.
During the process of the trial, Jem experiences his coming of age and lost innocence moment by opening his eyes to the racism he is constantly surrounded by. When Tom Robinson lost the trial, Jem instantly matured and realized how racism in Maycomb was the only reason Tom lost. After Tom was declared guilty, the kids walked with Atticus, “It was Jem’s turn to cry. His face was streaked with angry tears as we made our way through the cheerful crowd. ‘It ain’t right’” (Lee, 1960, p. 284). Throughout the entirety of the trial, Jem was blinded by his innocence and thought there was no possible way that Tom could lose the trial. It was the moment when the jury declared Tom Robinson guilty that Jem lost his innocence and started opening his eyes to the world. This quote illustrates how frustrated Jem was by the unfairness of the trial. Jem now understands the only reason Tom Robinson lost the trial was because of his skin color. Due to his young age, he had not yet succumb to the disease of Maycomb and realized racism is not right. Furthermore, when Tom Robinson lost the trial, Jem’s perspective of Maycomb changed Jem is left to understand the reality of people’s biased opinions. When talking to Miss Maudie, Jem described to her, “‘It’s like bein’ a caterpillar in a cocoon, that’s what it is. Like somethin’ asleep wrapped in a warm place. I always thought Maycomb folks were the best folks in the world, least that’s what they seemed like’” (Lee, 1960, p. 288). This quote shows how when Jem was a child, he was oblivious to the actions happening around him, as well as being too innocent to understand them. This demonstrates the analogy exceptionally: a caterpillar
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