How does Scout make the transition from childhood to adulthood in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The events she describes, obviously memorable for their impact, also mark for her the end of her innocent childhood and the beginning of her growth towards adulthood.

Scout matures considerably in the novel. Taking the first steps out of childhood, she begins on the path to adulthood by the novel's end, going so far as to suggest that there is nothing left for her to learn, "except maybe algebra".

Though this quote demonstrates the notion that Scout remains a child at the close of the novel, there is significant evidence to suggest that she has matured. 

Specifically, Scout learns to empathize with others (walk in their shoes), learns to restraint her passions and hold back from using her fists to solve problems, and learns some difficult lessons about her community. 

She becomes aware that not everyone acts with good intentions and becomes exposed to racism, bigotry and violence.

Symbolizing her growth, Scout's understanding of Boo Radley changes immensely from the novel's beginning to its end. In the end, she acts as Boo's protector, walking him home. Earlier she had played out the story of his life for the neighborhood to see with Jem and Dill, ridiculing the recluse without realizing that was what she was doing. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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