What personal journeys were undertaken in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This text focuses on a number of personal journeys that the various characters within its pages take. There is of course the central journey of both Scout and Jem as they voyage away from the childish state of innocence that they occupy and move towards the more nuanced adult realisation of the many complexities that there are in the world. This for example is demonstrated in Jem's character when he finds it so hard to understand why justice has not been done in the court during Tom Robinson's trial. However, equally, the text also focuses on the personal journeys that other characters make. One of the most touching journeys made by one of the minor characters is the journey made by Boo Radley, as he moves from being an isolated bogeyman feared and made fun of by the town's populace to being the true hero of the story, as he saves Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell in the final chapters. Note how his return to his home is described by Scout:

Boo and I walked up the steps to the porch. His fingers found the door knob. He gently released my hand, opened the door, went inside, and shut the door behind him. I never saw him again.

Even though his journey is one that ends up with his return to his self-isolation, it is clear that Boo Radley has made a massive journey to becoming involved in the world around him and coming to care for the two children that he strikes up a curious relationship with. For somebody who has been so withdrawn for so long, Jem and Scout have caused him to take an interest in the outside world again.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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