To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
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Discuss how Scout and Jem mature, and be specific about the incidents that influence this maturation. The novel is about prejudice, but it also details the maturation of both Scout and Jem. Discuss in what ways each mature and be specific about the incidents that influence this maturation.

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Jem matures the most throughout the book. He learns important lessons about equality and biases. One big influence to Jem's maturing is the outcome to the trial. When Tom is found guilty, though he is very clearly innocent, Jem realizes that often in society prejudices outweigh truth. Atticus is able to teach Jem through the situation that doing right is always more important. Jem also matures through his time with Mrs. Dubose. He not only has to face the consequences of his anger, but he also learns that people are often different than they appear to be on the outside. He realizes that little acts of kindness can make the biggest differences.

Scout's maturing is less extreme. The biggest example of Scout maturing is found in her interest in Boo Radley. At the beginning of the book, she is afraid of the "ghost stories" that she has heard. As the book progresses, she begins to see him as a friend, and begins to understand his choice of staying out of society. Scout also learns throughout the novel that sometimes you have to see the other side in order to understand why someone does what they do. Atticus is constantly advising her to walk in someone else shoes, which she attempts to do in order to understand Jem's strange behavior and Bob's reaction to the trial.

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