Character Development in TKAM

To kill a Mockingbird takes place over the course of three years. Of course during this time the characters change and grow. Scout learned more about the world she lives in, Atticus showed his heart and intelligence and Boo Radley transformed completely in how he was first perceived with how he actually was.

Scout began the story as a six year old just entering school and knowing only what she was exposed to in her home. She learned that adults don’t always make sense and that people care far too much about the lives of others. She also didn’t escape the way that society and environment shapes our thoughts and behaviors. Scout started believing that her own father was wrong just because the town did – “Well, most folks seem to think they’re right and you’re wrong….” Scout used racist slurs without even realizing why that wasn’t okay. She also gradually grew more feminine as the book wore on. This could’ve been because she was just growing up and changing but it seems that she was being told to put on dresses and stay out of the dirt so she did. I did notice how she came more okay with being female though at the beginning she hated being called a girl but at the end she wasn’t as ashamed of being female –  ‘“You want to grow up to be a lady don’t you?” I said not particularly’ Scout doesn’t hold the same beliefs by the end ‘After all, if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, then so could I.’

Atticus Finch’s presence in to kill a Mockingbird definitely increased as we got farther into the story. He went from being somewhat distant and mysterious to being a loving, wise, and intelligent father. He is a character that is so inherently good and seems that he can do no wrong. Atticus didn’t really develop throughout the book he was just shown to us more as it progressed and Scout got older and became more aware of him.

Boo Radley at first seemed to be the antagonist of the story. He was mysterious, dangerous, ugly, violent and feared. As the story progressed our perception of Boo changed he went from villain to victim. He was the victim of his father and the town’s prejudice, if it weren’t for them he would never have been shut away in his house. We are shown at the end of the book how harmless and childlike Boo is and his interactions with Scout are heartwarming. Boo is such an interesting character because we all as readers have such a huge idea of him and who he really is even though he is hardly really in the book. His presence still manages to be powerful and speaks so much about perspective and prejudice.

I really enjoyed to kill a Mockingbird and reading about all of the characters. We got to see Scout grow up and become more aware of the world she lives in. We saw what a loving and intelligent person Atticus was and learned so much about who Boo Radley really was.

Rape in TKAM

The way that rape was talked about and handled in to kill a mockingbird really stood out to me. It got me thinking about how rape is handled in our society today and how race affects rape cases.

Rape was an extremely hushed topic in Maycomb especially around the children. People wouldn’t talk about it outright and they always wanted scout out of the room not only because she was young but because she was a girl. It was far too easy for the Ewells to convince the jury that Tom Robinson had raped Mayella simply because he was black and they were white. If the tables had been turned and Mayella was a black girl and tom was a white man the verdict would have been non-guilty. Mayella was talked about almost like an object instead of Mayella was raped it was Bob Ewells’ daughter almost as though it was more of an offence to Bob than Mayella. The true story of what happened shows that Mayella actually harassed Tom. In the 30’s and even a lot today people don’t think that women can harass men and they talked about it like it was not a problem that Mayella did that to tom.

Today rape is treated differently but still too similarly as it was in the 30’s. People are still hesitant to speak out about rape especially around young people. Black men are still more likely to be convicted than white men in most areas of the law. Women are still objectified however rape is very different. We know a lot more about rape now and have a different outlook on it. We now know that men and women can be both raped and rapists and that rape is far too common. Today though I hope that Tom Robinsons would have been declared non-guilty.

There are many similarities between rape in To Kill a Mockingbird and rape today. Race and gender can have an impact on the verdict and rape is still very much a taboo subject. I hope that in the future things can progress further.