Describe the change in Scout’s understanding in Chapter 12 of To Kill a Mockingbird.  What does she learn?  

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of Part Two, Scout learns the hard truth about Jem's "moody" behavior: He is growing up and approaching puberty. Scout realizes that she will be spending less time with her brother and more time alone or with Calpurnia until Dill arrives for the summer. She gets an idea of Atticus's importance when a political cartoon of him appears in the Montgomery Advertiser. But most importantly, for the first time Scout gets to see how Maycomb's African American community lives. Aside from Calpurnia, Scout has not spent much time with black people: Black children do not attend the local all-white school, and segregation restricts social intercourse between the races. But when she joins Cal for a Sunday service at her own church, Scout gets to see how the other half lives. Extreme poverty is evident in the bare-bones appearance of the church. The church cannot afford paint, hymnals, a real collection plate or even a piano or organ. Illiteracy is the norm, and Scout finds that Cal and her son are among the few members of the congregation who can read. But Scout does learn that there is little difference between white and black churches.

     Jem and I had heard the same sermon Sunday after Sunday...  (Chapter 12)

Later, Scout also learns about Cal's "modest double life," where she speaks proper English in the Finch household and "nigger-talk" among her friends. The day is a great learning experience for Scout, and it becomes a true bonding experience with Calpurnia. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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