In “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, Harper emphasized Scout’s and Jem’s transition from innocence to maturity. Scout and Jem had to grow up quickly to be able to face the hardships that followed.
Jem and Scout were exposed to situations that shortened their time of innocence, and accelerated their realization that the world is a broken place. Many children and young adults face situations that halt or accelerate the rate in which they mature from childhood to adulthood. The rate of maturity is dependent on the person, and situations that follow that certain individual. The rate of maturity seems to exponentially become slower as time goes by, in this day and age about thirty percent of men, ages thirty and younger, have never lived independently. This used to be frowned upon in earlier decades, but now it is normal for a thirty year old man to still live with their parents.
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This was rarely heard of in earlier civilizations. In some situations children were appointed with immense power at an early age, like Tutankhamun, a famous Egyptian pharaoh, who was anointed at age nine. In the era of “Two Kill a Mockingbird”, children experienced youth for a longer period of time than kids today, however, these children assumed the responsibilities of adulthood faster.
Children had jobs by the age of eleven; they had the understanding that they were required to work in order to earn the money they needed for luxuries. To leave the house and go to college or get a good job was the goal for the children. Children only stayed with parents in special circumstances, like raising the other children, or helping on the farm. In present day, young adults and children have lost the end goal of leaving the house.
They believe that they have time and that they can go to college or find a job in a couple of years. Many people believe their young adulthood is meant for self-discovery, and having fun before it’s too late. Young adults are afraid of growing up, afraid of becoming like their parents, and most of all, they fear becoming just another person walking down the street. The bible tells us to become mature in Christ. How can we be mature in Him, if we can’t be mature ourselves? In the Bible, it talks greatly about the mature receiving and giving the messages of wisdom from God. Although God uses children, he relies on those spiritually and mentally mature to preach and receive his wisdom.
The man, who thinks like a child and speaks like a child, will be less respected and less likely to be listened. A mature man would more likely understand the urgency and meaning behind God’s message. Maturity is not something we can completely do ourselves, there are two sides to maturity, the spiritual and physical. People who are mature in the mental/physical area, are like children in the spiritual side. Hebrew 5:14 states, But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. As Christians, we must develop the spiritual and physical/mental aspects of maturity, so that we can preach and share our strong faith with others and not fall into the same sins that we committed as children. James 1:4 states, Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
What James is saying is that to be complete we must be mature, without spiritual maturity we’re just a fragment of what we can be. Sadly, people sometimes fall to false maturity and don’t try to develop their mental or spiritual maturity. For they believe there is nothing else to learn..