Is shielding children from various things to protect their innocence beneficial? In To Kill a Mockingbird the author, Harper Lee develops the main character Scout Finch in an old boring town called Maycomb. Through the use of characterization of Scout, Lee reveals that innocence along with the capacity to comprehend situations leads to the ability to perceive the world more ethically because they can grow and mature.
One of Scout’s most prominent characteristic is innocence. Her innocence limits her perspective because she didn’t reach the age of maturity. For example, Scout asks What’s rape?. After Atticus answers, she replies with Well if that’s all it is(Lee 154) Scout obviously does not understand how serious of a topic rape is and has little knowledge of what it is, even after asking Atticus about it. She see incidents through her own childish perspective differently. Similarity, when she sees snow for the first time, she exclaims that The world’s ending, Atticus! Please do something(64) When Scout sees this mysterious thing for the first time in her life and she automatically thinks that the world is ending. Her mind is so simple and lack of worldly experience she jumps to creative conclusions instantly.
Scout was also know for being impulsive. For instance, she once said I’ll never speak to you again as long as I live! I hate you an’ despise you an’ I hope you die tomorrow. (96). Scout obviously doesn’t want Uncle Jack to die cause she loves him dearly, but she was just extremely angry at the moment. Scout took place in many fights and would do things by nature, because she believed that things were unfair. She never really thought before she acted and would get so caught up in the moment she got physical numbers of time. However when Cecil calls her father names, I faced Cecil Jacobs…I drew a bead on him…then dropped my fists and walked away. she was straining to keep herself from fighting Cecil, but Scout walks away and lets it go. In this Scout matures and knows that fighting is not the answer and that it isn’t right. As she grows up, she learns that she is expected to behave in a lady-behavior and shows her development.
Lastly Scout is intelligent. She was illiterate at a young age and was smarter than many at her age. I never deliberately learned to read, but somehow I had been wallowing illicitly in the daily papers. (23) Scout has always enjoyed reading especially with her father, it was something she looked forward to everyday. But when her teacher teacher doesn’t let her read anymore she Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. (23) saw how valuable it was. Even though Scout is pretty smart it took her experiencing Tom Robinson’s trial to recognize the racism and injustice that took place during the trial. Even though she did not catch it right away she matures and changes her perspective.
Harper Lee shows that innocence with the experience to understand situations leads to the capability to identify and interpret the moral principles by characterising Scout as innocent, impulsive, and intelligent. The significance of this book is that children should not be preserved from experiencing things they should experience, because it benefits them as they grow up and mature.