What does being mature mean? To be mature not only means physically, but also mentally; to stop childishness and “become an adult”. Harper Lee, the author of the novel,To Kill A Mockingbird, has represented mental maturity through two young siblings, Jem and Scout, who live in Maycomb, Alabama in the early 1930s. In the beginning, Jem and Scout are still very young and have yet to uncover of the world in front of them, but end up quickly gaining wisdom
on the people and events occurring around them, going through their pilgrimage, and learn a lot throughout the story. Jem and Scout start off as innocent kids enjoying their lives, and end up growing up too fast and realizing the dark realities of the world they live in.
In the beginning of the book, Jem and Scout hear stories of a man named Boo Radley, and become curious about him. “Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were bloodstained – if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time.” Jem describes Boo Radley as some animal who is feared by everyone in the town. As the story progresses, Jem and Scout go from making games about him to realizing that he’s not what everyone says about him. They find out that he’s actually a kind person who means no harm whatsoever, is amiable, and even wants to care for Jem and Scout. People in the neighborhood were spreading misleading rumours about him without understanding his actual situation.
Jem and Scout not only get over their fear of Boo Radley, but also learn about the unequal rights for blacks, and how society treats them. “There’s something in our world that makes men lose their heads they couldn’t be fair if they tried. In our courts, if it’s a white mans word against a black man’s, the white man always wins. They’re ugly, but those are the facts of life.”Jem is the most affected by the trial, and doesn’t know why the world is so unfair. They both know and understand that Tom didn’t commit the crime,and should’ve been acquit, but they realize how terrible the world truly is. They grow up, learn about how unfair and dishonest the society is for blacks,and how they don’t have many prerogatives, something that they never thought about at the beginning of their development.
Scout’s wrathful attitude towards her Aunt Alexandra changed drastically from how it was in the beginning of the book. “She brought me something to put on,and had I thought about it then, I would have never let her forget it: in her distraction, Aunty brought me my overalls. ‘Put these on, darling’, she said, handing me the garments she most despised.” In the starting of the book, Scout never wanted to go to Finch’s Landing because she knew her Aunt would be there. She didn’t like how her aunt always told her act more like a girl, and didn’t trust her Aunt either. Towards the end, Scout starts to warm up to her aunt, and realized how inspiring her aunt is. During the missionary circle, Scout sees how understanding her Aunt is towards Tom, and figures that “if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so can I.”Scout and Aunt Alexandra start to form a mother daughter bond.
Scout and Jem both mature not much physically, but mentally. They both become sensible and grow up, unlike the rest of the town. From Boo Radley to Tom Robinson to even Aunt Alexandra, both these two kids show a huge amount of maturity from how they were at the beginning, and now to the end.
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