Coming Of Age In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Throughout the past 55 years To kill a Mockingbird has helped educate students about the past in America and has taught students lessons of coming age. This novel showcases the themes of racism, prejudice and injustice which were present during the 1930s. The coming of age of Jem and Scout is also presented through the situations they go through, which progressively lead them towards adulthood. The themes of the past and coming of age are important for students to learn during their youth in high school. The Kill a Mockingbird started being taught extensively in American schools during the 1970s. Today, 50 to 70 percent of the school systems require students to read it. It’s theme of coming of age that is …show more content…
One element of coming of age, would be when miss Caroline harshly criticized Scout for already knowing how to read and tell Scout that his father should stop teaching her how to read. It teaches an important lesson about how people aren’t always reasonable and won’t see things from the same point of view. Miss Caroline was unexperienced and she unreasonably punishes Scout, because she interfered with what Miss Caroline planned to do. Atticus tells Scout how she won’t understand people unless, “ (…) you climb into his skin and walk around in it(Chapter 3)." This experience makes Scout start questioning the perspectives of others and begin thinking for herself. Also, an event that happened before the events of the book unfolded was the death of the wife of Atticus Finch. The novel never went into the details of who she was besides mentioning that her last name was Graham, but She does add to the film of coming to age. Graham, which was the mother of Jim and Scout died around the time that Scout was 2, so Scout does not have any memories of her, unlike Jem who was around 5 years old. Although Scout never really knew her mother, she understood how Jem felt about her …show more content…
When first Cecil Jacobs and Scouts cousin Francis tell Scout that her dad is a nigger-lover she is outraged. After Jacobs and Francis call Atticus a nigger-lover she states, "He is not," I roared. "I don 't know what you 're talkin ' about, but you better cut it out this red hot minute!"(Chapter 10, Lee). Since she’s a child Scout still doesn’t understand the racism that is present in Maycomb and doesn’t know what Jacobs and Francis said. Scout later asks Atticus what it means to be a nigger-lover, and he says, "nigger-lover is just one of those terms that don 't mean anything...ignorant, trashy people use it when they think somebody 's favoring Negroes over and above themselves...when they want a common, ugly term to label somebody"(Chapter 11, Leea).He then goes on to state that he does consider himself a nigger-lover, because he sees the word as a way to say that he tries his best to love everybody. This statement by Atticus shows how ignorant and racist white people thought of themselves as superior to Negroes in the 1930s, with Atticus being one of the exceptions. He then tells Scout, "it 's never an insult to be called what someone thinks is a bad name...it just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn 't hurt you". Atticus taught Scout to stop caring about the insults of people, because it won’t affect her. This is important

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