To Kill A Mockingbird: Scout's Character Development
By corgibuns, Updated
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The Gum and the Knothole
The Boo Radley Game
"Now that I was compelled to think about it, reading was something that just came to me, as learning to fasten the seat of my union suit without looking around, or achieving two bows from a snarl of shoelaces" (Lee 23). This is where the audience comes to understand the level of Scout's literacy, an impressive ability for a girl so young. This gives her character more depth, a part of her that adds to her personality, telling us that she's smarter than one might expect.
"I stood on tiptoe, hastily looked around once more, reached into the hole, and withdrew two pieces of chewing gum minus their outer wrappers" (Lee 44). Scout is clearly a curious child, and in this passage we see just how inquisitive she is. Two unwrapped pieces of gum, form a knothole in a Radley tree, and Scout takes them and eats both.
"Atticus's arrival was the second reason I wanted to quit the game. The first reason happened the day I rolled into the Radley front yard... Someone inside the house was laughing" (Lee 54). Here we see more of Scout's cautious side, as well as her conscience. Her shame at her father's warning disapproval shows that she could recognize the negativity of the kids' actions, and her reaction to the creepy laughter gives us a glimpse of her reasonable thinking and common sense.
A Fight with Francis
" 'That ain't right, Miss Maudie. You're the best lady I know' " (Lee 59). Miss Maudie is a wise woman, and Scout learns things from her through important discussions. In these conversations we see Scout's desire to understand as well as know.
" 'Don't take it, Jem,' I said. 'This is somebody's hidin' place' " (Lee 78). Scout once again shows us her conscience, but in a different way. Now instead of guilt, she's showing concern for the potential feelings of whoever is leaving things in the knothole. She suggests waiting until the treasures are not claimed by a rightful owner, something that only a truly thoughtful person would think of.
" 'I don't know what you're talkin' about, but you better cut it out this red-hot minute!' " (Lee 110). Scout, while growing increasingly profane and tomboyish, is fiercely defensive of her father. It is in a situation like this one with Francis where we see the magnitude of the respect and admiration that Scout has for her father, and the lengths she's willing to go to in order to defend his honor.
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