Concept of Woman in To Kill a Mockingbird Free Essay Example
The novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, tells the story of a young girl growing up in 1930s Alabama. It revolves around her journey to mature and develop her own beliefs while being heavily influenced by the often immoral ideas of people in her town. The main character, Scout, matures drastically throughout the story and reveals that the novel is a great example of a bildungsroman. Through many pivotal moments in her development, such as her interactions with Mr.
Raymond and Boo Radley, Scout learns that not everything is what it seems. She begins to understand that there is more than one side to a story and that rumors are not always accurate. With this newfound knowledge, Scout has the opportunity to form her own opinions, aiding her development from a naive child to a more mature young girl.
First, a pivotal moment of Scout’s development in maturity is when she meets Boo Radley. At the beginning of the novel, Scout and Jem meet Dill, who came to Maycomb from Mississippi.
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After spending the summer playing games together, Dill expresses his curiosity of Boo Radley. Jem describes their neighbor as someone who “dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch” and that his “eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time” (16). Boo Radley’s characterization remains dark and eerie as stated in these quotes until the very end of the book. On the way home from Maycomb’s Halloween pageant, Scout and Jem are brutally attacked by Mr.
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Ewell. During the attack, someone manages to save the children from their attacker and escorts them home. Later on, Scout learns that Boo Radley was her rescuer and meets him for the first time. She observes that “Every move he made was uncertain,” (371) and that he talked to her in “the voice of a child afraid of the dark,” (372).
This reveals that Boo Radley is not the mysterious and evil phantom Maycomb portrays him to be: he is timid, quiet and unsure of himself. Scout is provided with a new perspective that challenges what the rumors in her town have led her to believe. Due to this, she begins to understand that not everything is what it seems. This gives Scout the ability to consider her true opinions of the people in her town by allowing her to be skeptical when she is presented with a rumor. Furthermore, Scout will not have to share the same opinions as the other people in her town: she can formulate her own beliefs because she is willing to see multiple sides of the story. This makes her more mature in the sense that she can be a voice of opposition in a town of followers just like her father Atticus.
Another moment where Scout develops a new sense of maturity has to do with her interaction with Mr. Dolphus Raymond. On the day of Tom Robinson’s trial, Scout, Jem, and Dill head into town to sit in on the case. While waiting for the Maycomb Courthouse doors to open to the people waiting in the square, Dill spots Mr. Dolphus Raymond. He points out that Mr. Raymond is “drinking out of a sack,”, and Jem explains that “he’s got a Co-Cola bottle full of whiskey in there,” and that he drinks it all afternoon (214). Later on, Dill doesn’t feel well during the trial and Scout takes him outside for some air. Mr. Raymond finds the pair and offers Dill some of his drink to ease his stomach. Due to the rumors about Mr. Raymond that have become a common belief in Maycomb, Scout is skeptical at first.
But Dill tells her that Mr. Raymond isn’t drinking alcohol: its Coca-Cola. Scout is astounded by this information and asks Mr. Raymond why he lets the people of Maycomb believe that he spends his days drinking alcohol. He replies by telling her that “if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can say Dolphus Raymond’s in the clutches of whiskey–that’s why he won’t change his ways,” (268). This interaction displays a moment where Scout’s initial assumptions are challenged. Mr. Raymond’s explanation contradicts the single-story Maycomb has created about him. This new information proves to Scout that Maycomb’s gossip isn’t always accurate because there is another side to the story that is needed to truly understand someone. Now that she understands this, Scout can have an unprejudiced view of the people in her town, regardless of rumored opinions, giving her a more elevated understanding of the world around her.
Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is a great example of a coming of age story. It follows the story of a young girl as she learns new things that often contradict what the people of her town influence her to believe. With this learning process, she gains a new understanding: that nothing is as it seems and that there are multiple perspectives in every story, a common theme that is presented throughout the novel. Through her interactions with Mr. Dolphus Raymond and Boo Radley, Scout learns to develop her own opinions as she grows into a more mature young girl.
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