1 Answer | Add Yours
Since Harper Lee's novel is a bildungsroman, Scout has experiences that effect her maturation throughout the narrative. But, until the trial of Tom Robinson her sense of justice is yet a basic one without an understanding the pressures of social biases. Nevertheless, she has learned to not pre-judge people as she has with Boo Radley and Mrs. Dubose.
While Scout's maturation has certainly begun in Part I with the episodes with Boo Radley in which she learns to respect people's privacy and differences and Mrs. Dubose, in which she learns that courage does not merely involve physical danger; moral and mental courage of take much inner strength as Mrs. Dubose exhibits in her fight against her addiction to morphine it is better demonstrated in Part II of To Kill a Mockingbird.
- When Calpurnia takes Jem and Scout to church with her one Sunday, Scout's perception of Calpurnia broadens as she witnesses the world in which Calpurnia lives. She is herself confronted with the racial dynamics of her town as Lula protests Calpurnia's bringing of the white children into a black church; for, Lula feels that since no black can enter a white church, then no white should be allowed in a black church. But, Calpurnia, who loves Jem and Scout simply replies, "It's the same God, ain't it?"
- With her Aunt Alexandra's presence in her home, Scout learns the real meaning of the "caste system" of Maycomb: Not all whites are created equally either because her aunt forbids her to socialize with Walter Cunningham.
- When the Old Sarum Bunch shows up outside the jail, Scout does not fully understand the seriousness of the situation, but she does realize that her father is threatened. Bravely, Scout attempts to diffuse the situation by speaking personally to Mr. Cunningham. This act of singling him out, diffuses the tension and removes the mob mentality and Mr. Cunningham orders everyone to drive away.
- At the trial of Tom Robinson, the testimony of Bob Ewell and the lies both he and Mayella tell in order to implicate the innocent Tom Robinson shock Scout. As she listens to their "testimony," Scout detects that Bob Ewell is extremely ignorant, and he is trying elevate himself by derogating Tom in his use of racial slurs and insults. So, after Scout listens to Ewell's mendacious responses to her father's questioning as well as Mayella's convoluted testimony about which she whispers to Jem, "Has she got good sense?" and the verdict is "guilty," Scout acquires a even more realistic perspective about her community and the gratuitous cruelty of people.
- Her experience with the kindness and wisdom of Mr. Dolphus Raymond who has been unnecessarily rejected and reviled by Maycomb society because he lives in the black community and has mixed children teaches her further about biases.
- After the trial, it is with a more mature perspective that Scout views her town. She notes the change in attitude with Mr. Underwood who decries the death of Tom Robinson who, likened to a mockingbird, did not bother anyone. She notes the hypocrisy of Mrs. Merriweather, who lauds her missionary in Africa for the "marvelous" work he does, but berates her black maid and others for being "sulky" and "dissastisfied."
- Finally, Scout reaches full maturity after Boo Radley saves hers and Jem's lives by killing the vindictive Bob Ewell. After she escorts the shy man home, Scout stands on Boo's porch and views her neighborhood from both a new physical and psychological perspective, having learned the full meaning of Atticus's lesson to consider things from another person's point of view:
Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.
We’ve answered 319,635 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question