To Kill a Mockingbird; Loss of Innocence
To Kill a Mockingbird Maturing and loss of innocence is a popular theme represented in Harper Lee’s unique, To Eliminate a Mockingbird. As Scout and Jem grow throughout their childhood, they learn how vicious the world can be in different methods. Due to the situations of living in Maycomb, the kids are immensely exposed to racism. Scout and Jem’s loss of innocence was also caused by the discrimination and inequity in their town. Last but not least, a strong reason that the children were forced to mature was the hypocrisy of the people living within Maycomb.
Due to the time duration Scout and Jem are living in, along with the scenarios of living within Maycomb, the children are significantly exposed to racial discrimination. To Kill a Mockingbird was set in the 1930– 1940 era; a time when bigotry was extremely popular. During this time there remained an extremely real danger to the safety and chances of African-Americans in the United States. One event that occurred in Scout’s childhood considerably impacted her realization to the prominence of racism in Maycomb.
This occasion being when Scout was challenged by her peers about her daddy. Cecil Jacob’s, among the trainees at school discuss Atticus in a derogatory manner, “he had actually announced in the schoolyard the day before the Scout’s daddy defended niggers”. (Lee 99) This occasion, and others like it, activates Scout’s awareness to the reality that Atticus’ choice to protect Tom Robinson, a Negro, is towered above by the people living in Maycomb. Another time that Scout and Jem were introduced to bigotry was when they were given the First Purchase African M.
E Church. When they initially got here Lula states to them, “You ain’t got no service bringin’ white chillun here– they got their church, we got our’n. It is our church, ain’t it, Miss Cal?” (158) This shows significance that the white people are not invited at the black church. This was a shock for Scout and Jem since even in a location as spiritual as a church there is still racial discrimination. Although all people in Maycomb attend church for the very same factor, and praise the same God, they are not able to do so together.
The examples provided can cause the conclusion that Maycomb has actually plainly exposed Scout and Jem to bigotry, costing them their loss of innocence, and forcing them to mature as they understand that the world is a harsh location where blacks and whites are not treated equally. Another element contributing to the loss of innocence is hypocrisy. A hypocrite is one who indulges in the practice of declaring to have ethical standards or beliefs to which one’s own habits does not adhere. By being exposed to individuals like this, Scout and Jem discover that a person can not constantly trust what another being states to be true.
For example, Mrs. Gates speaks about how Hitler was incorrect for maltreating the Jews. She says, “Over here we do not believe in maltreating anybody. Persecution originates from individuals who are prejudiced”. (130) When Mrs. Gates says this, she is stating that people in Maycomb would never ever persecute one who does not should have to be persecuted, yet she thinks it simply to discriminate against blacks. Another example of hypocrisy in To Eliminate a Mockingbird is when Mayella Ewell informs the people of the jury that they are cowards if you picked to doubt.
In the court she specifies That nigger yonder benefited from me an’ if you fine fancy gentlemen do not wanta do nothin’ about it then you’re all yellow stinkin’ cowards, stinkin’ cowards, the lot of you”. (100) This makes Mayella a hypocrite since alternatively she is a coward for not confessing the reality about the trial. These two example prove that hypocrisy had an impact on Scout and Jem due to the fact that they find out that in the terrible world, people don’t always do what they encourage others to do.
Discrimination and injustice in Maycomb likewise made a huge impact on Scout and Jem at an early age. Inequity can be specified as a lack of equity; unfairness; favoritism or predisposition. Aunt Alexandra shows gender discrimination when she demands Scout behaving more “lady like”. Scout states, “Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the topic of my attire. I could not potentially want to be a woman if I used breeches; when I said I could do nothing in a gown, she stated I wasn’t supposed to be doing things that needed trousers”. 81) One can say that Scout was taught to think that ladies were expected to act a certain way. She is made to believe that wearing pants is manly which behaviours that require them are for guys only. In Aunt Alexandra’s viewpoint it is also not lady-like to reveal your feelings, for this reason why later in the book Scout states, “After all, if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so might I”. (126) She states this while Auntie Alexandra is hosting a gathering with the other ladies in the neighbourhood, simply after she discovers that Tom has been eliminated.
Scout was distressed that Tom was killed, however like Alexandra, she keeps in her emotions because it is what a woman must do. Another kind of injustice that they children are confronted with is social discrimination. They understand how wealth impacts ones social status in Maycomb. Jem is particularly affected by this when he finds that Tom is found guilty at the trial, Throughout the trial, Jem enjoys with terrific interest, and is convinced that based on the evidence, there is no way the jury can found guilty Tom. So when the decision comes back as guilty, Jem feels as though he’s been physically assaulted.
In the court “Judge Taylor was polling the jury: “Guilty … guilty … guilty … guilty …” I glimpsed at Jem: his hands were white from grasping the balcony rail, and his shoulders jerked as if each “guilty” was a different stab in between them”. (112) This shows to Jem that not everyone is dealt with equally which social status is greatly affected by wealth and origins. Later on in the book Jem moreover reveals his sensations towards the social status by saying “there are four sort of folks in the world.
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There’s the common kind like us and the next-door neighbors, there’s the kind like the Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells down at the dump, and the Negroes.” When Jem says this, he is classifying the people in Maycomb by their wealth, suggesting that richer individuals are worth more than those who have less. Jem gradually loses his innocence over time in the book as he develops into a boy however he is pressed along the way by a few of the life experiences he endures.
In conclusion, Scout and Jem were exposed to many accounts of sexism and social discrimination, triggering a loss of innocence since they understand they understand that not everyone is treated equally in the world due to their gender or monetary status. One can conclude, from the points I have stated, that throughout Scout and Jem’s youth they are tremendously exposed to events of ruthlessness, costing them their loss of innocence and requiring them to grow. The kids were obligated to get used to the undesirable truth of racism, hypocrisy, injustice and discrimination.