The novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” is a coming of age story, detailing the maturation of Gem and Scout, and commenting on the loss of innocence, which is a central theme throughout the novel. Growing up in the Jim-Crow era South, Gem and Scout are exposed to a violent racial dynamic, rooted in racial anxieties. This violence is seen throughout the novel, with the criminalization of black male sexuality, and arguably, the criminalization of being black. It is through the bleak imagery and plot that Lee comments on the central theme of a loss of innocence- for the injustices portrayed in the novel are what ultimately result in Gem and Scout’s forced maturation, and their exposure to a violent and cruel cultural dynamic. Keeping consistent with the tone of the novel, the injustices of the court system portrayed are unsettling, and designed to make the reader uncomfortable. These injustices are designed by Lee to make readers uncomfortable, speaking to the grim plot of the novel, and the time period as a whole. It is though the coming of age of Gem and Scout that Lee seeks to make the injustices depicted “okay.” Describing the Boo Radley’s rescue of the children attempts to compensate for the atrocities witnessed throughout the novel, and comments on the fact that Gem and Scout, despite having lost their innocence, are still children. The narrative choice to include this interaction with Boo Radley provides a glimmer of hope, in the face of grim circumstances. The injustices of the legal system, of which Gem and Scout witness first hand, are contrasted with their interactions with Boo Radley, and the childlike innocence he portrays. Despite having lost their innocence, due largely in part to the injustices described, the interactions had in the final few pages of the novel serve to retain some of the Finch children’s innocence. While the racial anxieties towards black male sexuality are dark, the narrative choice to end the novel with figure of innocence attempts to alleviate the tonal and thematic tensions throughout the rest of the novel, and to make the failure of the justice system, while unsettling, seem okay.