In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, does Scout (Jean Louise) have black or white skin?

Expert Answers
gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout Finch, along with her entire family, are Caucasian in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Scout's ancestor, Simon, was an English Methodist, who immigrated to the United States, bought three slaves, and established a homestead near the Alabama River. Throughout the novel, Scout's race plays an important part in her moral development. One scene that depicts Scout's race is when she and Jem are questioned by Lula, an African American woman, when they attend First Purchase African M.E. Church with Calpurnia. Lula says to Calpurnia, "I wants to know why you bringin' white chillun to nigger church." (Lee 158) Another scene in the novel that explicitly depicts Scout's race is when she, Jem, and Dill sit with the Negroes in the balcony during the trial. In the context of the novel, which is 1930's Alabama, racial segregation is commonplace. Reverand Skyes goes out his way to make sure Scout, Jem, and Dill have a seat during the trial. The reason the children need to sit in the Negro section of the court is because the lower white section is packed full. Scout, Jem, and Atticus stand out from the other white characters found in the novel because they view people based on individual merit rather than on their race. The white community of Maycomb is highly critical of the Finches for their feelings towards African Americans.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question