In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, why is Scout so anxious to begin school?

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gmuss25 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Scout is anxious to begin school because she cannot wait to play with the other children at recess and participate in all of the exciting classroom activities that she hears so much about from her brother. In Chapter 2, Scout mentions that she is miserable after Dill goes home because she misses him. Scout then remembers that she will be starting school in a week and begins to get excited. When Scout recalls watching Jem from their treehouse run around on the playground with the other students, she comments, "I longed to join them" (Lee 12). Essentially, Scout is lonely without Dill and cannot wait to begin school so that she can be around others. Scout looks forward to playing with her classmates and joining in Jem's playground games. Despite Scout's excitement, Jem tells her that she is to stay with the first graders and leave him alone to play with his fifth grade friends on the playground.

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Like so many young children who have watched their older siblings and friends go off to school each day, Scout wants to be included.  She is used to the companionship of other children, and when the older ones are in school she is left alone to play by herself each day.  She recalls sitting alone in a treehouse overlooking the schoolyard, "spying on multitudes of children...learning their games, following Jem's red jacket through wriggling circles of blind man's buff, secretly sharing their misfortunes and minor victories...I longed to join them" (Chapter 2).  She doesn't really have a concept of what school entails other than the fact that the students, who seem to be having fun on the playground, go there everyday and she is not allowed to be with them.


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