Everyone grows up, but at different rates and different ways. The book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is about a girl named Scout and her brother, Jem, who grows up in Maycomb County a time when racism was very common in Alabama. Their father, Atticus Finch, is a defense attorney who helps defend Tom Robinson, an African American, from being accused of rape. The book takes place in the 1930s after the Great Depression while also struggling for Civil Rights.From beginning to end, Scout innocently grows up by first childishly making fun of Boo Radley, beginning to understand what goes on in her town, and growing to develop to become feminine female.
Scout, at a young age, would play around with Jem and her future “husband” Dill and the three of them would usually spend their time making fun of Boo Radley who was said to be evil and a killer. They once did a skit about Mrs. Radley and Boo Radley saying “She lost most of her teeth, her hair, and her right forefinger…Boo had bit it off one night when he couldn’t find any cats and squirrels to eat (39)” as part of their story.
Although they feared Boo Radley, they would try to find ways to get him to come so they may see him. Once they wrote a note asking him to come out and when Atticus came and read the letter, he asked, “Why do you want Mr. Radley to come out? (44). ” The children responded saying they just wished to see him. After a month the children became tired from making stories about Mr. Radley. Couple years later, Scout begins to understand things a little better than before.
Scout, who is now about the age of eight or nine, becomes aware of many things that happen in Maycomb County that catches her attention. They happen to be that many people are racists to African Americans; she finally learns what the phrase “to kill a mockingbird” means, and the reason why Boo Radley stays in his house. Scout notices some racism in her county when Jem and Scout go to visit their maid’s, Calpurnia, church. Right when they walked in, a lady started saying” You ain’t got no business bringin’ white chillun here- they got their church, we got our’n. It is our church, ain’t it, Miss Cal? 119).
” The lady’s name was Lula and was mad at Calpurnia for bringing white children to an African- American church. In addition, Scout also finds out what Atticus meant when he said that she shouldn’t kill mockingbirds for it would be similar to murdering something or someone who’s innocent. Towards the end, Scout says to Atticus, “Well it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it? (276)” telling Atticus that if the truth was told, then an innocent man would be condemned. Noticing all these thoughts and events, Scout must also face the idea she is to become a lady.During the next couple of years, Scout is told by her Aunt Alexandra and Uncle Jack to act more lady-like. Scout hates the idea that girls can’t be tomboys but must be ladies.
One Christmas when Scout, Jem, and Atticus went to Finches’ landing (where they “originated” from), Scout was asked by Uncle Jack, “You want to grow up to be a lady, don’t you? (79)” and Scout answered not particularly. Once Aunt Alexandra arrives, she explains to the children concerning her visit by saying, “We (Atticus and she) decided that it would be best for you to have some feminine influence.It won’t be many years, Jean Louise (Scout), before you become interested in clothes and boys. (127). ” To Aunt Alexandra, the family name is the priority in her mind and is determined not to let it be ruined by a little tomboy named Scout. As we have seen, Scout has matured and grown out of her child stage and realizes what is wrong with her town.
Though we don’t know if Scout ever turns into a lady, but it is a fact that she will put up a fight about it. As an adult, do you wish you could relive your childhood again?