Title: Childhood experience
Have you ever thought of an answer to reply to your children, when they ask you, “What was the world like when you were a child?”, “What things that happened that impressed you most when you were a child?” or “How interesting is your childhood experience?”. Everybody must have had their childhood. Some of the experiences may cause them to smile, or even laugh, while some of them may bring back bitter memories. It is always hard to express the childhood incidents or experience in a clear and interesting way, since they were past memories that happened long time ago. Moreover, when a person has grown up, they will never have the same feeling which they might have in their childhood. However, the authors Harper Lee and Mark Twain can express their own childhood inside the stories they created, in a lively and realistic way. The two novels To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer have a very similar characteristic. It is the way they describe a person’s childhood experience, and their feelings and new knowledge that come out from those experiences. This characteristic, however, has given me a big revelation after reading the two novels. The novels show that the childhood experience of a person has a great positive influence on his personality, behaviour, and ways on dealing with others. This idea has been shown by the authors in both novels.

From the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, one could discover that innocent behaviour and misunderstanding can lead a child to view a person or thing incorrectly and incompletely. This behaviour can also lead a child to a wrong perspective. In the first part of To Kill a Mockingbird, the main characters Scout, Jem, and Dill thought that the Radley family and their member, Boo Radley, as strange and unnatural human beings. They described Radley’s house as “That is a sad house....” (Harper Lee, 48). This is a “fact” they heard from their neighbours. Until one day, their neighbour Miss Maudie’s house was found on fire. While Scout was standing outside in the cold watching the fire, someone from behind her and put a blanket around her shoulders. Later, Scout and Jem realized that there was only one person in town who had not fought to put out the fire -- Boo Radley. Scout asked, “Thank who?”(Harper Lee, 76). Jem replied, “Boo Radley. You were so busy looking at the fire you didn’t know it when he put the blanket around you.”(Harper Lee, 76) It was then that Scout and Jem started to realize that Boo Radley was basically a kind and normal person, and that he was not a strange person as they thought at the beginning of the story. This incident proves that misunderstanding can bring a child into wrong perspectives, and that experience through time helps to solve the problem. There is also another proof from the novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. In the story, the main character, Tom Sawyer, thought that school was a restriction to him and therefore he decided to skip school and found his “world of freedom” from the forest and rivers. His aunt, Polly said, “Didn’t you want to go in a-swimming, Tom?” (Mark Twain, 13) Afterwards, Aunt Polly tried to punish him for skipping school by ordering him to wash a long, huge fence. However, this did not have any effect on Tom. He continued to do what he thought was “right” -- skips classes. He did not seem to care why his aunt Polly punished him. This is, once again, another example to show how innocent behaviour can lead a child to have wrong perspective and behaviour.

Although it has been said that innocent behaviour usually leads a child into the wrong path, there are still some exceptions. Having said that, it should be remembered that the nature of a child really helps to develop his or her own positive personality and behaviour, together with their childhood experience. For example, in To Kill a Mockingbird, the character Scout, was a smart and clever girl. However, she did not get any close friends other than her new friend Dill and her brother Jem, as seen from the story. From the scene where Scout argued and embarrassed Mr. Cunningham, her