To Kill A Mochingbird: Trial Of Life

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To Kill A Mochingbird: Trial Of Life

Trials of Life

Life is all about experiencing, learning, and growing up. The novel To Kill a Mockingbird
written by Harper Lee shows many examples of growing up during the Great Depression. To
Kill a Mockingbird is set in the South during the 1930's. The novel is a summary of the
lives of the Finch family and their learning experiences. Atticus Finch, a single parent
and lawyer, informs and advises his kids as well as many others about the realities of
life. Jem and Scout, his children, encounter many growing experiences throughout their
childhood. Dill, Jem and Scout's friend, visits his Aunt Rachel during the summer. He too
encounters growing experiences along with Jem and Scout. These four characters lives are
prime examples of the trials of life.

Throughout the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus teaches many lessons about people,
society, and life, especially to Jem and Scout. In Chapter 11, Atticus says to Jem, "...I
wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man
with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin
anyway and you see it through no matter what..." Atticus tells Jem this after Mrs. Dubose,
their neighbor, dies. By saying this, Atticus is teaching Jem that courage comes from
within oneself and takes mental strength and maturity.

Atticus teaches Scout to fight with her head instead of her fists in Chapter 9, p. 80 when
he says, " just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what
anybody says to you, don't let them get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a's a good one, even if it does resist learning." Atticus teaches this concept
using himself as an example. He is always calm and fair to everyone.

"But he's gone and drowned his dinner in syrup," I protested, "He's poured it all over.-"
In this quote during the beginning of the book, Scout shows a lot of immaturity. She shows
immaturity by making fun of her guest, which is something that is normally done by people
who don't know better, or are too young. Scout shows signs of immaturity similar to this
throughout the book. It is not until the middle and latter parts of the novel that Jean
Louise starts to show signs of growing up and maturing.

"Jem, are you trying' to scare me? You know I'm too old," This quote comes from towards
the end of the novel when Scout is stating that she is to old to be scared. This quote
shows that Scout has matured and grown in this part of the novel. In this dialogue by
Scout, it appears other people agree with her that she is growing up, because Jem does not
argue with her. It seems if there was a way to prove her wrong, Jem would have found it.
Maybe by not doing so, Jem and Scout both have grown up by this point in the novel.
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