Comment on the way Scout affects events without realizing it at the time.

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mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout narrates the story over a three year period. Scout is a precocious young girl. Scout's actions throughout the story, affect many events and people. She is honest in her opinions about people, much to her father's chagrin.

When Atticus is at the courthouse, guarding Tom Robinson, many of the townspeople come and want Atticus to walk away. Scout and Jem, are there watching and Scout runs to Atticus. Atticus wants her to leave, fearing for her safety, but she refuses. She then begins to notice many of the men there. She then proceeds to speak to each one about their children. Innocently, she has no idea that by doing this, she has protected her father. Her honesty in that moment affects the situation and she has no clue that she did it. 

This event was one of the major turning points in the story, where Scout's personal actions have a real affect. Scout's actions, where Boo Radley are concerned, also have lasting affects. When, at the end of the story, Scout asks Boo to escort her home, she is showing true compassion. She mad Boo feel like a gentleman. Her open heart and her honest reactions, have a lasting affect on the whole town. 

Scout is one of those characters, that have become synonymous with childhood innocence and how the affects of adults can change that innocence. She also shows that the honesty of a child can have lasting affects on the adults, as well. Scout was just being herself, and in the process affected so many people. 

teacherscribe eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One example is in chapter 15 (see the link below) when Jem and Scout go to visit Atticus at the Maycomb jail where he is watching over Tom Robinson.  A gang of men arrives to lynch Tom.  Atticus attempts to reason with them, but it is Scout who really saves the day.  When she appears, she recognizes one of the men as Mr. Cunningham.  She talks to him and - without realizing it - makes him see Atticus as someone who has done good things for him (helping him out of his 'entailment') and as a father.  Scout goes so far as to ask him how his son, Walter, is doing, for she had him over for lunch a while back.  Scout thinks she is just being polite by talking to Mr. Cunningham, but really she is totally diffusing the group's anger.  Mr. Cunningham finally calls for the men to leave.

Another example is in the final chapter when she walks Boo home.  She stops and peers into his window and imagines what he must have seen over all those years.  Without being cognizant of it, Scout and Jem have been offered entertainment to Boo (who has been watching their plays and other hi-jinx).  Previously, she had just viewed him as this mythical figure she had always been fascinated by and wanted to meet.  But by putting herself in his shoes, she finally realizes just how much she and Jem meant to Boo.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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