How is the theme of growing up and man's introduction into the world of strife evident in To Kill a Mockingbird?It's for a paper where I have to find and explain a central theme in multiple classic...

How is the theme of growing up and man's introduction into the world of strife evident in To Kill a Mockingbird?

It's for a paper where I have to find and explain a central theme in multiple classic books. I chose the theme of strife and growing up. 

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Scout and Jem both mature considerably from the beginning to the end of the novel. Facing challenges, receiving instruction, and presented with many examples of good and bad behavior, the children are pushed to develop and grow. Strife is certainly part of the world that the children are exposed to in the action of the novel.

For Scout, in particular, as the narrator and the youngest character, the challenges she faces force her to grow.

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's first challenge is learning to cope with her teacher Miss Caroline. This situation leads Atticus to encourage Scout to walk in someone else's shoes and empathize with Miss Caroline. Of the various lessons Scout learns, this one may be most central to her development. 

She and Jem also learn lessons of restraint regarding action, perception, and judgment. 

By the end of the novel, however, eight-year-old Scout has learned a measure of restraint, primarily through the influence and example of her father Atticus.

Through Boo Radley, Mrs. Dubose, and Miss Caroline, the children come to realize that appearances and first impressions often fail to tell the "whole story". These moral lessons occur alongside some difficult social lessons, which Jem and Scout learn through their experiences in the novel. 

Tom Robinson's trial and the town's treatment of Atticus lead both Scout and Jem to lose some of their innocence and idealism. The trial and its accompanying difficulties can be taken as representations of a "world of strife" that the children are introduced to. 

Learning to accept people for who they are while also refraining from judgment, both Jem and Scout mature considerably through the novel. 

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amanda-panda's profile pic

amanda-panda | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

The theme of growing up is quite eveident in the novel through reading abut Scout and Jem. At the beginning of the novel Jem and Scout are both innocent. They believe that the world is a good place filled with good people however as the novel progresses and the trial begins Scout and Jem change their feelings about the world.Although Scout seems to still believe in the good of human beings, Jem has realized that the world is filled wih hate and racism. Jem changes, in one day Jem lost his childhood innocence and became part of the 'men's' world. Other instances that could have affected Jem could include when the men come to the jailhouse to kill Tom Robinson or when Jem learns about Mrs.Dubose's morphine addition.

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