As people grow in life, they changeand mature. Scout Finch, who is asix-year-old girl at the beginning of the novel To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, is nine by the end of it.Little by little throughoutthe book, we see as a reader how she learns to control her volatile temper, changeher views on what’s right and what is wrong and just overall mature into ayoung lady. In theearly chapters of the book, Scout is a hothead young 6-year-old; with anexplosive temper.
An example of this would be when Scout beats up Walter Cunningham, a classmate of hers, for “nothaving his lunch.””CatchingWalter Cunningham in the schoolyard gave me some pleasure, but when I wasrubbing his nose in the dirt Jem came by and told me to stop. ‘You’re bigger’nhe is,’ he said.’He’sas old as you, nearly,’ I said. ‘He made me start off on the wrong foot.’ ‘Lethim go Scout. Why?’ ‘He didn’t have any lunch,’ I said, and explained myinvolvement in Walter’s dietary affairs.” (Scout to Jem.
Lee, 25) Something wesee that proves her improvement of temper control is when Scout is ready tofight Cecil Jacobs for what he says; at the beginning of chapter 9. CecilJacobs announces to the schoolyard that “Scout Finch’s daddy defended ni****s.”When hearing this Scout clenches her fist and tells him to take it back. Althoughit is not directly written or stated as to whether or not Scout actually hithim, it is implied she is ready to do so.
Later that night, Scout has aconversation with Atticus about Cecil’s comments. Atticus then explains to herthat he is defending a black man named Tom Robinson. He encourages her tocontrol her anger and to keep her fists down. However, the next day, Cecilrefuses to take back his comments and says “My folks said your daddy was adisgrace an’ that ni**** oughta hang from the water tank!” Despite Cecil’shateful comments, Scout manages to maintain her composure and walks away. (Lee,85-88) This shows that she is maturing and listening to what her father,Atticus has to say. The way Scout views people of color isdefiantly a sign of her maturing.
When she sees how Tom Robbinson is treatedjust because he is black, she begins to understand all the racism and judgmentin Maycomb County. She is quick to realize that some people, in her communitywould commit murder just because of the color of somebody else’s skin. This isa sign of maturity as she has to understand all of the controversy in Maycombwith white people thinking they are better than someone who is black. Scoutdisagrees with this and believes that everybody should be treated equally andwith the same amount of respect. How Scout starts to feel about Boo Radley atthe end of the book is also a big sign of her maturing.
In the beginning, sheand Jem are both afraid of Boo and think he is some kind of monster. Later inthe book they come to realize that he is a very kind and peaceful man whowouldn’t hurt a fly. An example of thatwould be when he saved the children and brought them home safely after theywere attacked by Bob Ewell. One of the most noticeable signs of Scout maturingis also in this part of the novel, when she gathered enough courage to stand alongsideBoo on the Radley porch.
“Iwondered how many times Jem and I made this journey, but I entered the Radleyfront gate for the second time in my life. Boo and I walked up to the steps tothe porch. His fingers found the front doorknob. He gently released my hand,opened the door, went inside, and shut the door behind him. I never saw himagain.” (Scout.
Lee, 320) From the beginning of the book we notice rightaway Scout is not your average 1930’s girl. Her mother died when she was veryyoung, therefore she hasn’t had anyone to teach her how to become a properyoung lady. But when Aunt Alexandra comes into the picture, we see right awaythat Scout does not like her. From her criticizing the way Scout dresses, to howAtticus raises his children and the things that Calpurnia does.
Her judgmentalattitude doesn’t help ether too. As wekeep reading, we see how Scout and Aunt Alexandra begin to see each other innew lights. Scout spending more time with her and seeing what it’s really liketo have a motherly figure in her life. Both Jem and Scout starting opening upto her more and trusting her, even Aunt Alexandra becoming more attached to thechildren and being less strict and more relaxed. At the end of the book AuntAlexandra truly loves Jem and Scout, especially when the threat of Bob Ewellbecomes more and more real; Aunt Alexandra is really concerned for theirsafety. She goes as far as handing Scout a pair of overalls to wear.
“She leftit at that. She brought me something to put on, and had I thought about itthen, I would never let her forget it: in her distraction, Aunty brought me myoveralls. ‘Put these on, darling,’ she said, handing me the garments she mostdespised.
” (Aunt Alexandra to Scout. Lee, 303) In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Scout, Jean Louise Finchmatures over the course of thirty one chapters and three years within the book.She also realizes the problems of the society she lives in and of those in hercommunity. Overall, as a 9-year-old in the 1930’s Scout Finch has matured intosomeone who we all aspire to be. Acollective, hothead, smart and very mature young lady.
Who has learned manyvaluable life lessons, within 3 years.