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What caused Scout to change her mind about being a lady in To Kill a Mockingbird?Any...

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sparknotesgal | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:23 AM via web

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What caused Scout to change her mind about being a lady in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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

Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:35 PM (Answer #1)

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Scout has fought for so long to avoid adopting any of the ladylike ways that Calpurnia and, especially, Aunt Alexandra have tried to force upon her. It is in part because she is getting older, and it is partially because she has realized that all girls must eventually become ladies. Aunt Alexandra's intent for Scout attending the Missionary Circle tea is for her to see some of the finer Maycomb ladies in action. But Scout is not really impressed with most of the women: Instead of acting in a proper manner, they make jokes at Scout's expense and make racist remarks about the town's Negro population. Scout seems to realize that when she becomes older, she can improve upon the "most devout" ladies in town--Mrs. Merriweather and Mrs. Farrow--and their "hypocritical" ways. She knows her transition from tomboy to lady is inevitable:

There was no doubt about it, I must soon enter this world, where on its surface fragrant ladies rocked slowly, fanned gently, and drank cool water.  (Chapter 24)

Scout still prefers being around boys and men and, after all, she has a "permanent fiance" in Dill, but

... I was more at home in my father's world... there was something about them that I instinctively liked...  (Chapter 24)

But after seeing the way Maudie and Alexandra react to Atticus's news about Tom's death and the way they bounce back and return to serving their guests as if nothing had happened, Scout recognizes that they are the true ladies in the room, and

... if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I.  (Chapter24)

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