To Kill A Mockingbird: Innocence Essay, Research Paper
While examining the term, “the end of innocence”, Scout?s viewpoint on Boo throughout the novel can be an indication of Scout?s own “end of innocence.”
Scout opens the novel with a naive viewpoint on both the world and Boo Radley. At the start of the novel, Scout interprets a raiding on the jail, through an adolescent standpoint. Scout sees the circumstances of the attack from the perspective of a young child. Scout?s responses to situations, such as the one at the jail, attributes to the fact that she is young, and has few life experiences under her belt. Scout plays ludicrous games with Boo and her detachment towards reality shows the immense childishness she possesses. Boo Radley is a fictional person to Scout and her friends. Scout treats Boo like a figment of her imagination, which signifies her na?vet?. Scout starts the novel with a false association between fantasy and reality.
Scout?s maturation commences when she views the injustice of Maycomb?s court system. After a jury fails to set Tom Robinson free, Scout fully understands the mechanics of prejudice when she declares, “Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed.” Scout has never met more trouble than the trouble that occurs between children?s own social circles. After Tom Robinson is convicted, she fully comprehends racial prejudice, and begins to understand the entire situation. Following the trail, she says, “The Radley place ceased to terrify me.” Initially, she sees the Radley place as something that is horrifying. Scout seems to have a better understanding of why Boo never comes out and becomes mature about the subject. Scout finally begins to go through the changing process when she witnesses the horrors of the Tom Robinson trial.
At the end of the novel, Scout demonstrates her maturity when she finally is able to distinguish Boo Radely the game, from Boo Radley the man. Scout fantasizes about seeing Boo, and meeting him in the street, to offer comfort and solace. Near the end of the novel, Scout tends to think of Boo in a different way. Scout finally recognizes Boo as a person and she makes connections that she wasn?t previously able to do. When Scout finally meets Boo, she greets him in a very nonchalant way and the greeting demonstrates the knowledge she acquires during the course of the novel. The way Scout greets Mr. Radley encapsulates everything she learned during the novel. Scout suddenly becomes ladylike and she finally accepts all the dictums that were directed towards her as a child. Scout demonstrates everything she learns, in a polite, short conversation with Mr. Boo Radley.
In a sense, Scout Finch?s transition from innocence to maturity can be followed in three phases. The first phase is Scout?s original disposition. At the beginning of the novel, Scout is naive. Scout fails to recognize logical situations and often takes a childish approach to them. The second phase is the event that causes her to change. Scout witnessing Tom Robinson?s murder trial forces her to become mature. Scout never encounters anything like the trial; the trail makes her re-evaluate her life in different ways. The third phase is Scout coming to terms with her childhood. Scout?s last meeting with Boo Radley is crucial to her maturity. The meeting shows that Scout has finally grown up and has accepted real life. For Scout, the quote “end of innocence”, can be translated into “end of Boo Radley.”