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Personal Growth in to Kill a Mockingbird

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The Growth

By, TrevorC. Personal growth is the key to somebody growing up and maturing. A person does not gain any personal growth without maturing or having some kind of personal event that triggers the maturing. Harper Lee writes about a family in a small southern town in the 1930's. The story To Kill A Mockingbird shows how the Finch family goes through their own form of personal growth. Many people in this novel experience personal growth.

Jem Finch's personal growth progressed as a result of his growing ability to understand events and ideas, and his growing maturity. As Jem gets older, things come into a new light and understanding for him. This quote is from one of Jem and Atticus' discussions.

" 'Atticus,' he said, 'why don't people like us and Miss Maudie ever sit on juries? You never see anybody from Maycomb on a jury--they all come out in the woods.' "(Ch. 23; p. 221)

In this quote Jem is asking why people who are not influenced by prejudice are not serving on a jury. Because Jem is starting to think about things and question them, he is showing that he is growing up and maturing. Another example of Jem's personal growth was when Jem was talking to Scout. He is replying to a comment of hers about what kind of people there are in the world.

" 'If there's just one kind of folks, why can't they get along with each other? If they're all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other?' "(Ch. 23; p. 227)

Jem is asking questions about Scout's previous comment in this quote. In his questioning of Scout's comment he is proving that he is starting to see things in a new and different light. Atticus Finch is also another good source of personal growth.

Atticus Finch contributed more to the others personal growth than to his own. Atticus would give his advice to Jem and Scout and they would remember these things and follow by them. This quote is from one of Atticus' speeches.

" ': you just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don't let 'em get your goat.' "(Ch. 9; p.76)

Atticus is talking to Scout about fighting kids. He asks her to not fight anybody and just walk away. After saying this, Scout in fact does obey his advice about not fighting and walks away from a fight. In another one of Atticus' advice speeches, he is telling Jem what courage really is.

" '--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 your licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.' "(Ch. 11; p.112)

Atticus is telling Jem that somebody who still knows that they are going to get beat, and still tries, that is real courage. When Atticus tells Jem this, Jem might not know it, but he is learning one of the most valuable lessons he might ever learn. Scout Finch is another example of personal growth.

Scout Finch's personal growth continued to



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