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In Johnny Tremain, how does Johnny become more adult-like by the end of the novel?

Quick answer:

Johnny's sense of solidarity with his fellow man and his emotional maturity.

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To a large extent Johnny's maturation parallels that of the United States itself. Both boy and nation are forced to grow up fast over the course of the Revolutionary War and its aftermath. One way in which Johnny matures is through developing a sense of solidarity with his fellow man. Before his involvement in the war, he was quite a self-centered young man, pretty much wrapped up in himself and his work. His whole world was tiny, and he never really saw himself as part of a wider community. But war changes all that. By playing his part in the revolutionary struggle, Johnny has gained an understanding of the importance of social solidarity.

Johnny's always had a very strong sense of self-worth. He takes great pride in his work as an expert silversmith and seems destined for a life of business success. That all changes due to a serious injury, when Johnny gets his hand burned in molten silver. This unpleasant incident teaches Johnny an important life lesson: to be humble, to recognize that self-worth isn't related to your occupation, but instead it is connected to how you behave towards others.

Johnny's pride as a silversmith had always alienated him from those around him. He saw himself as an artisan and nothing more and this kept him trapped inside his own little bubble. But since the accident he's reached out more to the wider world, and he now understands that there's so much more to life than what one does for a living.

Johnny also matures in an emotional sense. When he visits Rab on his death-bed, Dr. Warren urges him to keep his emotions in check. That he's able to do so is a sign of just how much Johnny has matured. He's still a young man, but carries himself with a maturity and a dignity greater than his years.

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Johnny definitely grows up throughout the course of the book.  Even as the book opens, he is a pretty impressive young lad.  He is a talented silversmith and mature for his age.  When Johnny hurts his hand, he is forced to grow up fast. No longer is his life mapped out, because he can’t be an apprentice any more.  Johnny is homeless for a while, and hungry.  He has to use his wits to survive.

After he attains gainful employment with the newspaper and the revolutionaries, he continues to return to Cilla, after he has been on his own and has the influence of the Sons of Liberty such as John Adams, John Hancock and Paul Revere, he grows apart from her.  He begins to look for more out of life.  Cilla is the same, but he is more mature and has a higher calling.

A final way that Johnny matures is that by the end of the book he no longer romanticizes war.  He has seen what battle can do, and while he still believes in the cause he takes a realistic view of the fight.

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