“Tintin is mature for his age.” – I disagree.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t think he’s immature for his age, I just think he behaves like a teen/young adult. Tintin may mature during the series, but he’s still a naïve, somewhat immature young adult by the end of it – as much as I’d expect a young adult to be.
I view the books like they are written in Tintin’s perspective and I reckon he thinks he’s maturer than he is because he can solve practical problems quickly and calmly which does require a level of maturity. From his perspective, his actions are always justified and the villains are usually wrong and evil and he writes his articles from that point of view. This black and white mindset is quite immature, but I’d expect it because he’s young. In reality he usually means well but he’s incredibly reckless and sometimes over-reacts (punching people in the face etc.) and has the typical teen/young person mindset that he’s invincible and puts himself and his friends into danger without considering the consequences.
He often depicts older people as hectic, like as if he doesn’t really understand them. To me this is obvious with Haddock. In the books, Haddock seems to be the immature one – don’t get me wrong I don’t think Haddock is perfect, he’s still bad tempered with a drinking habit – but I think Haddock’s behaviour is largely to do with the stress of looking after a lovely but out-of-control kid who’s going to end up killing himself if he keeps it up. I reckon if the books were in Haddock’s point of view, they’d be less heroic and far more tragic – Haddock desperately trying to get the boy to stop finding gratification in being a “hero” and realise that he’s already worth more than that (to Haddock at least).
I don’t think Tintin’s a bad kid, but I do think he’s just a boy even when he’s an adult. I find it amusing that this site seems to think that turning 18 means you’ve reached 100% maturity and you know the ins-and-outs of the world and what’s right and wrong, when in reality that’s rarely the case. In Tintin’s case he becomes an delightful yet semi-immature 18-20 y/o like one would expect.
I doubt the books were deliberately written like this and I’m probably over-thinking it as per usual, but to me it seems realistic and interesting. What do you guys think?