Growth and Maturity in To Kill a Mockingbird
The book, To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is a staple story for everyone to read. The point of view of the story shows how the main character matures and loses her innocence. The character Boo Radley helps her mature more, the trial of Tom Robinson opens her eyes to prejudice, and all of those events helped her learn how to walk in someone else's shoes. The point of view of the story makes the reader truly understand how the character felt and how she matured.
In the book the reader sees everything from Scout's point of view, so they get to see her vision of Boo Radley mature. At the beginning of the story Scout’s views are easily molded to fit Jems views so when he gives her a description of Boo Radley she goes along with it, he exclaims, “Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that's why his hands were always bloodstained” (Lee 16). Jem has a very immature and cruel image of Boo in his head, and Scout fully believes him. So for the first part of her life, she thought of Boo as a frightening recluse. Once she gets a bit older and learns empathy, she feels bad for Boo she thinks, “We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad.” (373). Boo isn't just a figment of her imagination anymore, he is real. She feels empathy for him because she had always had a very cruel image of him in her head and he only ever took from him. She never gave him anything. Boo helps her get a more mature view of people and helps her not to judge someone before getting to know them.
Scout's point of view helps the reader see how she grows and matures after the trial of Tom Robinson. Scout's innocence is shown when she goes up to greet Atticus while a mob is there to kill Tom Robinson, she goes into the circle of men and yells, “ ‘H-ey Atticus!’I thought he would have a fine surprise, but his face killed my joy. A flash of plain fear was going out of his eyes, but returned when Dill and Jem wriggled into the light.” (203). Scout didn’t understand that the men were there to kill Tom and maybe harm Atticus. Since the reader sees things from her point of view the reader hears how confused she is and how she doesn’t understand the severity of the situation. But once the trial is over and she witnesses prejudice first hand. She finally understands and she remarks, “Atticus had used every tool available to free man to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men's hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was dead the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed.” (323). The trial matures her and takes away her innocence. She sees how hard Atticus tried, and how much evidence he truly had to show Tom Robinson was innocent, yet they still lost all because he was a black man. Scout will never be the same The trial helped her get a more mature outlook but it also stole her innocence.
The first person point of view shows how Scout learns to walk in another person's shoes by the end of the book. When Walter Cunningham comes to eat dinner with them, Scout is blatantly rude to him and Atticus expresses, “ ‘Scout, you’ll get along better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view-’ ‘Sir?’ ‘-until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.’ “ (39). This statement causes Scout think a lot. It helps us see her new perspective on Walter and Miss Caroline. But she doesn’t truly get what Atticus means until the end of the book. After Scout gets saved by Boo and finally gets to talk to him after all of these years it finally clicks and she reflects, “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.” (374). This excerpt shows how much Scout has truly grown. She used to want to force Boo out of his house, and she would obsess over him, but in the end she realizes why he was the way he was. And she learns how to walk in Boo’s shoes. In the end without Boo Radley, Scout wouldn’t have learned how to walk in other people's shoes and see from their point of view.
In essence, Scout’s point of view was influenced by her surroundings, and they helped her have a more mature outlook on life. She learned not to judge people before you truly get to know them like she did with Boo Radley, she learned about prejudice from the trial, and lastly she learned how to see things from others perspective. Harper Lee taught Scout all of these lessons to help the reader learn all of them as well.