Scout is depicted as an insightful, charismatic young girl, who is extremely curious and thoughtful. Throughout the novel, Scout demonstrates her insatiable curiosity by continually asking questions in an attempt to better understand the world around her. Scout's youthful enthusiasm and naivety contribute to her curiosity as she proceeds to ask puzzling, difficult questions. Scout asks Atticus why he is defending Tom Robinson when he knows that he is going to lose and wonders why the community does not support his decision to defend the accused man. Scout also inquires about the meaning of racial slurs and asks Calpurnia to define rape. Scout's curiosity extends to her enigmatic, reclusive neighbor. She asks Miss Maudie several questions regarding Boo's existence and personality.
In chapter 26, Scout's teacher Miss Gates discusses the difference between Nazi Germany and the United States and comments that there is no prejudice in America. Scout immediately recognizes Miss Gates's hypocrisy and demonstrates her curiosity by asking Jem,
Well, coming out of the courthouse that night Miss Gates was—she was goin‘ down the steps in front of us, you musta not seen her—she was talking with Miss Stephanie Crawford. I heard her say it’s time somebody taught ’em a lesson, they were gettin‘ way above themselves, an’ the next thing they think they can do is marry us. Jem, how can you hate Hitler so bad an‘ then turn around and be ugly about folks right at home— (Lee, 131).
Scout's question not only emphasizes her curious personality but illustrates her desire to understand the world around her. After witnessing racial injustice firsthand and recognizing the hypocrisy of her small town, Scout continues to inquire about the nature of Maycomb's society and tries to comprehend why her neighbors are racist.