The Transformation Of To Kill A Mockingbird

Superior Essays
Many literary critiques see the book To Kill A Mockingbird as the story of a child’s growth into mature adulthood life. One of the main themes in the book is the evolution of a person’s beliefs and understanding of the world based on their environment and exposure to intense events. The main characters in the story, Jem and Scout start off as two innocent children and playmates that are curious about Boo Radley, the town’s mysterious recluse. A series of major events, one of them being Tom Robinson’s trial, change the way Jem and Scout think of their town. Although their personalities remain the same, the way they start perceiving the real world puts an end to their childhood. As the novel progresses, Jem and Scout’s characters evolve. This transformation, provoked by the influence of the mysterious and intense atmosphere of Maycomb County, results in a greater level of maturity acquired by both characters.

At the beginning of the story we see Jem and
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He beat his fist softly on his knee. “You can’t just convict a man on evidence like that – you can’t.”” (Lee, page 295). At this point in the novel, Atticus and Jem are discussing Maycomb’s inequality between black and white people. Atticus tells Jem that in their courts when it’s a white man’s word against a black man, the white man always wins. Jem is outraged at the people of his town and of how discriminative they are. “Whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.” (Lee, 295). Atticus is explaining to Jem at this point, that if white men that cheat black men in court (convicting them over crimes when they’re actually innocent), it means that they’re trash. What Atticus means by the word “trash” is that they are worthless. Atticus’s honesty and progressive thinking is a great example for his children who gradually get ready to change the ‘regular way of life’ in

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