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Coming of Age

To Kill A Mockingbird
by

Daisy Cardenas

on 17 April 2015

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Transcript of Coming of Age

In Harper Lee's novel,
To Kill a Mockingbird
, the theme of coming of age is exposed through literary elements and character complexity.
To Kill A Mockingbird
Coming of Age
Symbols
Imagery
Imagery
Tone
Motif
In Harper Lee's novel,
To Kill A Mockingbird
,
imag
ery is very prominent. The description of the
Rad
ley house is a great example.

~
"The Radley place jutted into a sharp curve beyond our house. Walking south, one faced its porch, the sidewalk turned and ran beside the lot. The house was low, was once white with a deep front porch and green shutters, but had long ago darkened to the color
of
the slate grey yard around it. Rain rotted shingles drooped over
the
eaves of the veranda; oak trees kept the su
n
aw
ay. The rem
ains of a

picket drunkenly guarded the front yard,
a 's
w
ept'
yard that wa
s

never swept where Johnson grass and rabbit
t
obacco grew in abundance."

This image is incredibly detailed and g
i
ve
s
the Radley house an ominous, mysterious f
eeling
.
Another example of imagery is Tim Johnson. The imagery in this part of the story is also greatly detailed but has symbolism in it a
s w
e
ll.
Character Development
Character Development
Character Development
~"He walked erratically, as if his right
le
gs were shorter than his left legs. He reminded me of a car stuck in a sandbed."
Although this is much sho
rter th
an th
e

de
scription of the Radley house, the read
er can still
get a strong idea of how Tim Johnson
was wal
king
.
This helps show how Tim Johnson re
presen
ts racism i
n
Maycomb and how Scout and
Jem a
re exposed to growing up and maturing m
uch f
aster than other kids their age.
In Harper Lee's novel,
To Kill A Mockingbird
, the tone is very different between both parts of the book. Part One is childlike and innocent, almost humorous. No problems are very obvious while the story builds up, but as the novel progresses the tone becomes more serious. In Part Two of the book the tone is darker and the tru
e
colors of Maycomb are seen. This is shown through Tom Rob
inso
n's trial, where the tension is h
ig
h. The tone also represents how Jem and Scout grow, the beginning being innocent and towards the end being serious, the childr
en be
coming more aware

of the problems in the world around them.
Atticus is one of the most prominent citizens in Maycomb during the Great Depression, penetrating intelligence, calm wisdom, and exemplary behavior, A
tticus is resp
ected by every
one; he
functions as the moral bac
kbone of Ma
yco
mb. But
the
conscience tha
t makes him so admirable
leads him to be t
he object of scorn in Maycomb, as he goes against
society to
defend Tom Robinson. After the trial, he seems
destined t
o be held in the same high regard as before. Atticus i
s char
acterized throughout the book by his great consistency. H
e stan
ds rigidly committed to justice and thoughtfully willin
g

to vie
w matters from the perspectives of others to have a bet
ter
understanding.
He d
oes not have much development in the n
ovel
but keeps
these
qualities in equal measure, making him the novel’s moral
guide
and

conscience.
Scout is a very unusual little girl, in her qualitie
s. S
he is unusually intelligent, confident, thoughtful, and good as she always acts with the best intentions. She is also unusual for being a tomboy in the proper Southern world of Maycomb. At the beginning of the novel, Scout is a very innocent, kind-hearted five-year-old child who hasn't experienced the real world and it
s
evil. As the novel continues, Scout has her first contact with evil in the form
of rac
ial prejudice, and her character is controlled by the question of whet
her her c
onscience and optimism will survive or whether she will be bruised, hurt, or destroyed like Boo Radley and Tom Robinson. Scout learns that even though humanity has a great capacity for evil, it also has a great capacity for good, and is also taught by Atticus that putting herself in others' shoes is the best way of understanding others. Scout’s development into a person capable of assuming that outlook marks the culmination of the novel and indicates that, whatever evil she encounters, she will retain her conscience without becoming cynical or jaded. Although she is still a child at the end of the book, Scout’s perspective and mentality on life develops from that of an innocent child into near one of a grown-up.
Jem finds himself in an even more difficult situation than Scout. His expe
rie
nce during the Tom Robinson's case causes him to lose faith in justice. His disappointment upon seeing that justice does not always prevail leaves him vulnerable and confused at a critical, formative point in his l
ife,
where he is already changing. Later in his life, Jem is able to see that Boo Radley’s unexpected aid indicates there is good in people. Before the end of the novel, Jem shows signs of having learned a positive lesson from the experience, for example, he refuses to allow Scout to squash a roly-poly bug because it has done nothing to harm her. After seeing the unfair destruction of Tom Robinson, Jem now wants to protect the fragile and harmless. In a way, Jem, like Tom Robinson, is a mockingbird. While the Ewells and the forces of hatred and prejudice do not take his life, they do take his childhood and youthful ideas and mentality.
Jeremy Finch (Jem)
Atticus Finch
Jean Louise Finch (Scout)
• Jem cut the flowers of Mrs.Dubose's house in his anger and Atticus makes him read to her everyday for a month. Jem had to pay a consequence for cutting the flowers and it wasn't till later that he discovered that Mrs.Dubose was withdrawing herself from the morphine, before she died.

• Boo Radley is perceived among Jem and Scout as a monster. First Boo Radley was a monster but later in the story they had realized he was much more than that, even risking his life to provide safety and giving gifts on numerous occasions. The earlier assumption of Boo Radley represents their original child-like and innocent mindset of them, judging before they had actually seen or met Boo much like most if not all of the Maycomb County.

• The Tom Robinson case shed off some innocence for both, Jem and Scout. The Tom Robinson case was a huge example of how unfair life could be due to Tom, the falsely accused, losing the case simply for being a black man in a court made up of a racist jury.

The motif of
To Kill a Mockingbird
, by Harper Lee is the moc
kingbird
. The mockingbirds represents the innocence, therefore the title of the book means to kill innocence which is seen throughout a number of characters but mainly the kids. The children once being exposed to the sin of the town, such as racism in the case of Tom Robinson, learn that the world isn't anywhere near perfect and full of imperfections
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