Describe Scout’s family background and her present household in To Kill a Mockingbird.  

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price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Finches represent an old, southern family who has lived in the area of Maycomb for generations.  Because of their ancestry, they are well respected in town. Simon Finch first came to the area around Maycomb searching for his fortune by trapping animals and fur trading. He later bought land around what is now called Finch Landing and built a plantation on the site. Aunt Alexandra still lives on the plantation with her husband and son, Francis.  Atticus’ brother, Jack, left the area to become a doctor, and of course, Atticus lives in their modest home in Maycomb with Jem and Scout.  The family, however, spends holidays on the old family plot of land at Finch Landing. 

Because Scout and Jem’s mother died when Scout was little, Atticus hired Calpurnia to do household chores and look after the children while he is busy in his office as a lawyer or at the state capitol as a representative.  Although Calpurnia is strict and has “epic” battles with Scout, Atticus considers her one of the family. 

Throughout the novel, we see Atticus’ valiant efforts to raise his children as a single father who doesn’t always know what he is doing but is, however, a wonderful role model to his children.

troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout's ancestor Simon Finch came to America from England.  He did well practicing medicine, and began "Finch's Landing."  That is where all of the Finch men resided throughout the generations.  However, because Jack and Atticus were into their professions, Alexandra remained on Finch's Landing.

Scout was born 4 years after Jem, and when she was 2, her mother died.  Since then she was raised by Atticus and Calpurnia, who was the cook for the Finches.  Calpurnia serves as a mother figure while Atticus is the provider for the family and the head of the household.  At night Calpurnia returns to her home.  During the day (before Scout began school) she practiced reading with her father and writing with Calpurnia.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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