5.08 Discussion: Growing Up in To Kill a Mockingbird


Learning the difference between right and wrong is part of growing up. People have different ideas about the meaning of justice, courage, and honesty. A young person’s ideas about those values become part of his or her character. Scout grows up during the Great Depression in the South, a time and place in which African Americans were treated unjustly. Issues of right and wrong arise as Scout learns how to treat people who are different from her?whether the difference is one of skin color or of personality.

What are the influences that affect the way Scout grows up? How do they affect her? What kind of person do you think she will become? Give specific examples to support your view.


Gene and Finny are two memorable teens. They share many similarities, such as their age and the place they go to school. However, they are different in so many other ways that they are virtual opposites.

In what ways are the two boys similar and in what ways are they different? What do the traits and actions of one boy help you understand about the other? What do the boys’ character traits, and the differences between them, show about the themes of A Separate Peace? Discuss at least one similarity and two differences.

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