How would you describe the mood of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Scout is a tomboy, so to speak. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Scout is a young girl who grows up without a mother. She is raised by her father, Atticus Finch, and lives with her older brother, Jem, and the housemaid, Cal.

Perhaps because of the absence of a maternal figure, Scout develops a series of defense mechanisms against the usual sensitivities that little girls feel: She is outgoing, outspoken, defensive, and fearless. She is also very intelligent and ahead of her peers when it comes to psychological development.

However, the common flaw one sees in Scout is her tendency to generalize and idealize things. She believes that Macomb is a pleasant and happy place where everyone is fair to each other. She also generalizes poor people, reclusive people, and adults in general.

Yet, when the trial of Tom Robinson begins and she realizes the cruelty and unfairness of society, a new door opens in front of Scout. Added to this, she sees how her own brother changes and matures, how Dill grows, and how Calpurnia becomes her protector much like a mother would. This means that Scout experiences a lot of life-changing events throughout the story, which mold her and force her to mature.

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