Essay about To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

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As children grow up, they open their eyes to the harsh truths in the world around them that they once did not understand or question. This is experienced by the main characters of Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The story is of a girl called Scout and her older brother, Jem, who go through the trials of growing up in the fictional small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930s. Racism is rampant in the mindset of the townspeople, shown when the children’s lawyer father, Atticus, takes the case of an obviously innocent African-American man and they convict him in their hearts before the trial even starts. Through this all, we can see the theme of loss of innocence in the children. Lee uses characterization to portray…show more content…
From this, one can see that Scout is still in a juvenile state of mind. Furthermore, one can see how the beliefs of the townspeople have been transferred to Scout, who had taken them as they are considered the social norm. She unknowingly accepts their racism when she thinks of Dolphus Raymond as a “sinful man” because he associates himself with black people and “…had mixed children and didn’t care who knowed it.” (201) She does not understand why he freely displays his transgression to the town when it is acknowledged as a wrong thing to do in Maycomb. However, Scout slowly starts to develop her own sense of right and wrong and create her own judgments of others. Boo was once the monster of her childhood, but after witnessing his cordial and courageous actions, she realizes that “he hadn’t done any of those things…he was real nice.” (281) In the end, Scout matures and sheds her childhood nickname to become the young lady called “Jean Louise” by family and friends. (211, 224, 229) This change in Scout is a result of her loss of innocence and is a focal point in the novel to give a thought-provoking perspective on the events of the book. Lee expresses the theme of loss of innocence through the characterization of Jem. In the story, there is a trial occurring in which his father defends a clearly

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