To Kill A Mockingbird Coming Of Age Analysis

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Robert South once said, “Innocence is like polished armor; it adorns and defends.” That similar idea is conveyed in a short excerpt from chapter ten of Harper Lee’s best-selling novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. In this vital coming of age passage for Jean Louise Finch, or Scout, readers are taught how difficult it is to keep the innocence of another. In the excerpt, Atticus is forced to shoot Tim Johnson, the rabid acting dog, and reveals his secret, sacrificing Scout’s innocence for her safety. Atticus regrets his decision, although it may be the best one he can; Jem and Scout are shocked by Atticus’s long kept secret. In order for Lee’s chapter book to be enjoyable for all readers, she uses literary elements such as conflict, imagery, and symbolism to convey a universal message. Scout is confused and curious about the complex conflict between Sheriff Heck Tate and Atticus. Scout is also unaware of Atticus’s secret. A quote from the text that points this out is this: “’Don’t waste time,’ said Atticus. ‘Go on.’ ‘Mr. Finch, this is a one-shot job.’ Atticus shook his head…show more content…
To put in simpler terms, many things spoken have a literal meaning and figurative meaning. An example that comes to mind: “Tim Johnson was advancing at a snail’s pace, but he was not playing or sniffing at foliage: he seemed dedicated to one course and motivated by an invisible force that was inching him toward us (Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 127).” A subliminal message there could be this: Some people go through life blankly working towards a goal they haven’t set yet, unmotivated, and keeping innocence as they do. But, in a case like Tim Johnson’s, once you step off that clueless path and forget that they should have innocence with them, it can kill you, figuratively. Lee exhibits a phenomenal act of using metaphorical symbols to relate her book to her
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