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According to Scout, how is Uncle Jack's treatment of her unfair in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bitil11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 23, 2013 at 12:25 AM via iOS

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According to Scout, how is Uncle Jack's treatment of her unfair in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:44 AM (Answer #1)

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Scout thinks Uncle Jack treated her unfairly because he punished her without listening to her side of the story.

At Christmastime, Scout is going through a phase.  She uses bad language, and Uncle Jack does not like it.  Atticus says she will grow out of it and basically ignores it.

Scout’s annoying cousin Francis pushes several buttons, trying to find one to rile Scout.  He finally succeeds when he insults her father, and she attacks.  She calls Francis a “whore-lady” (even though she has no idea what it means), and he tells on her.  Uncle Jack spanks her, and is surprised when she is upset.

When Uncle Jack asks her why she is upset, she explains.

"Well, in the first place you never stopped to gimme a chance to tell you my side of it- you just lit right into me. … an' in the second place you told me never to use words like that except in ex-extreme provocation… (ch 9)

Scout explains that she was provoked, and Jack should have listened to both sides.  Jack concludes that he will never understand children, and asks Atticus about it.

This incident foreshadows the unfairness Scout will encounter with Tom Robinson’s trial.  Just as Jack punished Scout without getting the facts, the jury convicts Tom unfairly.

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