As a bildungsroman, a novel of maturation, To Kill a Mockingbird is replete with instances in which the Finch children lose their innocence and learn the hard realities of life.
1. Scout loses some of her idealism. When Scout discovers that her first-grade teacher is new to the area, she tries to help her by informing her of the socioeconomic backgrounds of certain students. Having been given voice in her home, Scout does not realize that Miss Caroline perceives her as being insolent. Scout is then shocked when the teacher menacingly grabs her by the collar, saying, "You're starting off on the wrong foot in every way. . . Hold out your hand." Scout is hit several times with Miss Caroline's ruler.
Scout is also baffled by Miss Caroline's reaction to her proficiency in reading aloud. Instead of being praised, Scout hears Miss Caroline derogate Atticus for teaching her: "Your father does not know how to teach" (Ch.2).
2. Scout learns the truth about Boo Radley and Mr. Radley's and Nathan's...
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