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How is Scout Finch courageous in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?

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dancer9723 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:40 AM via web

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How is Scout Finch courageous in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 22, 2012 at 5:15 PM (Answer #1)

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Author Harper Lee manages to mix a bit humor--both bawdy and surreal--into what is potentially a deadly situation on the night that the lynch mob arrives at the jail. With the men speaking in whispers so as not to awaken the man they plan to hang, Scout sees this "sickeningly comic aspect of an unfunny situation" turn more dangerous when one of the men try to manhandle Jem. It was Scout to the rescue.

I kicked the man swiftly. Barefooted, I was surprised to see him fall back in real pain. I intended to kick his shin, but aimed too high."  (Chapter 15)

This courageous act was followed by another when Scout unknowingly subdued the mob with her innocent small talk. She had previously shown small acts of courage when she faithfully joined Jem and Dill on most of their Boo Radley-related excursions. And Scout should be applauded for her patient silence on the day in which she joins the ladies of the missionary circle for tea.

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decent444 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:47 AM (Answer #2)

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Scout's most courageous act in To Kill a Mockingbird comes in Chapter 15 when she and Jem arrive at the jail while Atticus is confronting the lynch mob. Scout senses that something is wrong, but she doesn't really understand the implications of the gathering until the next day. Her innocent banter with Walter Cunningham shames him, and he directs the other men to "Let's get going."

Scout shows courage when she stands up for Walter Cunningham Jr. on her first day of school. She tries to explain why Walter has no lunch money, but she instead gets in trouble with Miss Caroline. She shows courage when she accompanies Jem and Scout into the Radley's back yard, and she shows her speed when she runs back to safety after Boo's shadow appears on the porch. She shows courage (or is it her foolish hot temper?) each and every time she fights a boy in the schoolyard, and her bravery is evident when she runs to the sound of Jem's screams during the attack by Bob Ewell

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