Growth From Understanding Imagine that you went to bed last night like usual. Today you woke up and found a pair of glasses on your drawer next to your bed. Confused, but curious, you put the glasses on. Nothing appeared to be different to your eyes. You walked outside and realized that was not the case. The world was an entire different realm. The people and objects were still there, but you seemed to see things more clearly. Like you, many children wake up or slowly realize the world is different, but not in magically, the children grow up. In the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, brother and sister Jen and Scout slowly realize concepts of the world they did not know before. Jem and Scout acquired a better understanding of people as they mature and interact with people through experiencing events in the harsh reality of the world. In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird, a young girl, Scout, and her brother, Jem, learn about the world living in the quiet Maycomb County at the time of the Great Depression as the controversial case of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of rape, has arose. In the beginning of the book, Jem and Scout have no understanding of people and are innocent. Through multiple situations, their understanding of people develops as they realize that people may not be at all what they perceived them to be. After the Tom Robinson trial, both Jem and Scout begin to fully understand people. In the beginning of To Kill A Mockingbird, Jem and Scout are not aware of the behavior of people around them. During the winter of 1934, Jem and Scout build a snowman in their front yard of Mr. Avery, claiming the snowman to look like him because “‘Mr. Avery’s sort of shaped like a snow man, ain’t he?'” (67) Jem and Scout had no context whatsoever about the people in Maycomb, and they did not worry about it. Instead, the two were naive; Jem and Scout lived in their own world whereas all they did was play. Since Jem and Scout did not pay attention to their surroundings and they did not have an understanding of people since they did not care. In Chapter 15, Jem and Scout find a lynch mob at the jailhouse and Scout stops the altercation by talking to Mr. Cunningham at the scene. Scout, in this example, is innocent in the sense that she does not understand what is happening at the jailhouse or why the men would ever want to cause trouble. Scout believes that Mr. Cunningham was a friend since he brings the Finches food to pay them. At first, Scout does not understand people, but begins to when she undergoes moral growth through harsh situations, like the lynch mob at the jailhouse. As children, Jem and Scout are innocent, and they do not have much or any understanding of people. In part two of the novel, Jem and Scout begin to realize that there is much more to people than what meets the eye. One example is, “‘ She said she mean to break herself of it before died, and that’s what she did.’ Jem said ‘ You mean that’s what her fists were?’ ‘… If you hadn’t fallen into her hands, I’d have made you go read to her anyway. It may have been some distraction. There was another reason.’ ‘There was another reason-‘ ‘Did she die free?’ ” (148-149) At first, Jem and Scout hate Mrs. Dubose for her snarky remarks towards the Finches. After Mrs. Dubose died, the two learned that she was a morphine addict and discovered the reason that she asked them to read for her was to distract her from dying. Scout and Jem begin to notice that Mrs. Dubose was not at all the woman that yelled at them from across the street. Jem and Scout conclude that there was so much more to Mrs. Dubose than they thought. Additionally, in Chapter 8 Atticus says “‘ … We’d better keep this and the blanket to ourselves. Someday, maybe, Scout can thank him for covering her up.’ ‘ Thank who?’ I asked. “Boo Radley..'” (96) While Miss Maudie’s house is burning down, Boo Radley gives a blanket to Scout to keep her warm, but Scout does not notice him. Jem and Scout have always thought that Boo Radley was a recluse, insane, and psychotic. Despite their opinions, Jem and Scout begin to discern that Boo Radley may not be who they thought he was when he cares for Scout. Throughout various circumstances, Jem and Scout learn that people may not always be what other people identify them to be. Lastly, after the Tom Robinson Trial, Jem and Scout finally understand people and the reality of the world. For example, ” It ain’t right, Atticus.” (284) In Chapter 22, Jem reveals why the trial was nauseating for him. Jem notices that the city of Maycomb was wrong to convict Tom Robinson of rape allegations because they despised the negros in the town. Jem discovers that the world is not as kind as he thought, and that there are great injustices and bias in the world that he cannot fix. Furthermore, in Chapter 23 Jem and Scout exchange their thoughts on people : “‘You know something, Scout? I’ve got it all figured out, now. I’ve thought about it a lot lately and I’ve got it figured out. There’s four kinds of folks in the world. There’s the ordinary kind like us and the neighbors, there’s the kind like the Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells down at the dump, and the Negroes.’ … ‘Naw, Jem, I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.’ … ‘That’s what I thought, too… when I was your age. If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’ they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time… it’s because he wants to stay there.'” (302-304) In this quotation, Jem begins to grasp that the people of Maycomb are not perfect, though they appear to be. Jem thinks that in Maycomb the people are defined by their social class, and each person thinks they are better than someone else, thus, no one in Maycomb gets along. Scout, however, believes that there are only one type of people, that all people are the same underneath all the bias and speculations. Jem and Scout eventually understand people in their own ways after seeing the injustice in the Tom Robinson trial and in Maycomb. Jem and Scout finally see the world after being aware of the motives and ways of people. Jem and Scout have had an innocent to full understanding of people as they have gone through numerous situations and events throughout To Kill A Mockingbird. Jem and Scout have been unaware of the nature of humankind in Maycomb in their younger ages. The two have then begun to realize characteristics about people from events in the novel. At the end of the novel, Jem and Scout finally understand people, but in different perspectives. Through many situations in the novel, Jem and Scout’s understanding of people have matured from innocent to completely understanding, much like all children do today.