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What are some examples of how Scout Finch is courageous in To Kill a...

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summerreading... | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 30, 2012 at 3:06 PM via web

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What are some examples of how Scout Finch is courageous in To Kill a Mockingbird

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 30, 2012 at 3:30 PM (Answer #1)

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Scout Finch is courageous throughout the book. Being pegged a tom-boy from the beginning, readers see this in her willingness to fight any boy that comes along or even any adult that questions her. Part of her courage though comes from the naivety of being a child. She doesn't always know or understand the danger around her.

In chapter 2, Scout represents the voice of reason from the children to their new teacher Miss Caroline. She speaks on their behalf, which  took courage since she ultimately gets in trouble for most everything she says to Miss Caroline:

Impatience crept into Miss Caroline’s voice: “Here Walter, come get it.”

Walter shook his head again.

When Walter shook his head a third time someone whispered, “Go on and tell her, Scout.”

I turned around and saw most of the town people and the entire bus delegation looking at me. Miss Caroline and I had conferred twice already, and they were
looking at me in the innocent assurance that familiarity breeds understanding.

I rose graciously on Walter’s behalf: “Ah—Miss Caroline?”


“What is it, Jean Louise?”


“Miss Caroline, he’s a Cunningham.”


I sat back down.

In chapter 15, Scout bursts into a mob of men potentially about to hurt Atticus: 

This was the second time I heard Atticus ask that question in two days, and it meant somebody's man would get jumped. This was too good to miss. I broke away from Jem and ran as fast as I could to Atticus.

Jem shrieked and tried to catch me, but I had a lead on him and Dill. I pushed my way through dark smelly bodies and burst into the circle of light.

"H-ey, Atticus!"

I thought he would have a fine surprise, but his face killed my joy. A flash of plain fear was going out of his eyes...

Here Scout demonstrates her courage as she runs to Atticus, and reveals the danger within as she narrates Atticus' reaction to her presence.

In chapter 31, Scout meets Boo face-to-face. She treats this man like a child. She acts like a parent leading a child throughout their exchange. Courage is modeled in this scenario because she has feared Boo for so long, and now, her fear is a real friend:

Boo had drifted to a corner of the room, where he stood with his chin up, peering from a distance at Jem. I took him by the hand, a hand surprisingly warm for its whiteness. I tugged him a little, and he allowed me to lead him to Jem’s bed.

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