The Coming Of Age And Loss Of Innocence In Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird

Scout Finch’s small hometown seemed like the perfect place for a young and curious child. The south was the setting for To Kill a Mockingbird, and her life included a lot prejudice and opinionated people. Everybody who lived in close proximity to one another knew the other. Scout’s brother Jem and her dad, Atticus, were also part the town. All of the characters lived in Maycomb County Alabama, which was small and prejudiced. Harper Lee, author of The Death of Innocence and Coming of Age, depicts Scout’s coming of age and conflicts with the rest of the world.

Harper Lee describes the loss in innocence caused by Scout’s encounter with Miss Caroline. Scout loses the ability to feel a sense of purpose when she is forced to inform Miss Caroline about Walter Cunningham’s financial affairs. She feels guilty for trying too hard to be helpful, as Scout had already fallen off the wrong path. Miss Caroline says, “You’re shamein him. Walter didn’t have any quarters at home so Miss Caroline grabbed me by her collar and hauled us back to the desk. “Jean Louise, it’s enough. Hold your hand.” She thought she was going for spit. I was confused. Miss Caroline reached for her ruler and gave me half a dozen pats. After that, she instructed me to stand in a corner. Victims are forced to accept that they did something they shouldn’t have done. The victim can then reflect upon their own shortcomings and make changes to avoid making the same mistake. It is possible to see that Scout learned from Miss Caroline to be a good listener and not get involved in other peoples’ problems. Although the reader might infer that, Scout still decided to go after Walter for getting her into trouble. Scout had learned a valuable lesson. Lee, alongside Aunt Alexandra, also expresses her grief through Scout. Aunt Alexandra, an additional character, was obsessed with Scout’s attire. I couldn’t possibly imagine myself being a lady if my clothes were breeches. When I told her I could only wear breeches, she replied that I was not supposed to wear pants. Aunt Alexandra was very proud of my personality. She saw me playing with small stoves and tea pots. Scout was raised with her father and older brother. Atticus Finch, Scout’s father, was very afreast. Scout and Jem were wild and messy. Scout didn’t know better without a mother-like influence. Scout was conscious that the way she behaved was unusual for a girl her own age, but she refused to follow the example of other girls. Aunt Alexandra tried persuading Scout to be a “proper” woman by teaching her proper mannerisms. The way Scout behaved could be used to infer that Aunt Alexandra was trying reform Scout’s lifestyle.

Harper Lee describes the loss of innocence as Scout and Jem learn about the dangers associated with racial discrimination. Scout and Jem discover the views that Maycomb’s white women have about black people when they get involved in the case involving their father. Scout and Jem’s brother learn about equality. “Cry about how people treat others without thinking. Crying about the misery that white people can cause for people of color, while not even thinking they are people. Scout attends Tom Robinson’s trial. He is adamantly falsely charged and convicted by a family who was trying to justify their wrongdoing. His only possible reason for losing the case was that he was a man of color in a preconceived universe. Being a person from color in the 30s is difficult enough. Tom Robinson needed to be tried against all white men. Atticus Scout showed Atticus what most people don’t know until they get older.

Harper Lee’s book, The Death of Innocence and Coming of Age, is a collection of stories about Scout and her many struggles. The book’s most important chapters focus on Miss Caroline’s problems and the angry influence she has from Aunt Alexandra. She learns to confront the prejudices against her race that her small town is subject to. To Kill a Mockingbird may have many themes. The most prominent theme, however, is the death-of-innocence and coming of adulthood. Scout Finch was 9 years old when she experienced some transformations that allowed her to mature as a thinker. Overall, this book offered a glimpse of life in the 1930s’ turbulent world.



Daisy May is a 34-year-old blogger and student who is passionate about education. She has been blogging about her educational experiences and tips for other students since 2010. Daisy May is currently studying for her Master's degree in Adult Education.