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To Kill A Mockingbird

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Innocence of Childhood to Maturation

Scout faces the cruel reality that life isn't fair when an innocent mockingbird was shot ruthlessly seventeen times in the back. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee portrays Jean Louise Finch having to face the grim reality of losing the innocence of what life really is. She is forced into maturity with the understanding of four life lessons that give her a more mature take on life. Jean Louise, nicknamed Scout, learns from her father, Atticus, how unfair the world can be in her small world of Maycomb, Alabama. She realizes that she has to keep fighting even if she knows she will lose. Her being able to step into other people's shoes was Scout's most understandable lesson, especially at such a young age of just five.

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... until you climb in his skin and walk around in it" (Lee 34). Miss Caroline, the new teacher, made an honest mistake of trying to hand a quarter to a Cunningham. The Cunninghams are people with good morals; yet do not have the ability to pay back their debt. Scout then speaks out in class, informing Miss Caroline that he is a Cunningham. Miss Caroline responded by slapping the backs of Scout's hands with a ruler, thinking Scout was being sassy. Atticus tells Scout that she should not have expected Miss Caroline to learn all of Maycomb's ways in just one day.

Scout and her brother, Jem, were given airsoft guns as a gift from their Uncle Jack. The advice they got from Atticus was "Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." (Lee 94). Atticus planted the thought in their minds that they should not hurt a poor defenseless animal. Later in the story this lesson is synonymous with Tom's prosecution and death. He, being a black man, was convicted of raping a white woman named Mayella Ewell. Tom was later shot in the back during a "supposed" escape attempt; all the while, the people of the town ignoring his innocence.

After thinking about Tom's situation, she comes to realize Boo is also a mockingbird. During his childhood he stabbed his dad with scissors and since then has confined himself to his house. When she was young she believed that he was forced to stay in the house; and survived only off of dead cats and squirrels. As she grew up she could finally grasp that he was staying in his home just because he wanted to. He chose to avoid Maycomb's judgment and hate. Scout cruelly ridiculed Boo and his reclusive lifestyle by performing skits with other children that demonized Boo. She regrets not taking her neighbor, Miss. Maudie's advice "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."(Lee 94). Boo later saved Scout and Jem from a deranged client of Atticus' who swore to revenge the humiliation he was faced with in the courthouse. Boo was a good-hearted person that was just misunderstood.

One major lesson it was difficult for her to comprehend was to keep fighting even if loss was inevitable. Atticus was assigned a case by Judge Taylor because the judge knew Tom needed an experienced lawyer if he was to receive the slimmest chance of being successful in finding the truth. Atticus' reasoning for being so persistent was "You rarely win, but sometimes you do. (Lee 116). It took her awhile to figure out that her father was trying to set an example for his kids. Atticus felt he would never be able to look his kids in the face if he catered to the prejudice pressure of the community. Atticus was completely obsessed with proving Tom innocent and exposing the real truth behind

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