From whose point of view is "To Kill a Mockingbird" told?

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lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To Kill a Mockingbird is told in first personfrom Scout Finch's point of view.  When chapter 1 opens the novel, Scout is speaking from an adult perspective as she remembers back to past events from one momentous year in her and Jem's childhood.  She provides us with a few details of foreshadowing such as the fact that Jem broke his arm, but we don't learn much more about the heart of the story at this point.  What is interesting about the narration of this novel is that Scout is an adult telling the story as she remembers understanding it from a child's perspective. As readers, we can hear both voices in various places throughout the novel. This duality can be tricky.  The reader is left, at times, wondering "Is that what Scout understood as a seven-year-old, or is that what she understands now? Is there a blend between the youthful naivete of young Scout with the adult she came to be because of the experiences she had that year?"  As we read the novel we have to accept that Scout is very smart and insightful young lady whose experiences through school, the trial, and the attack by Bob Ewell all shaped her and left her with the story that shares.

poetrymfa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is told from the first-person perspective of Jean Louise "Scout" Finch. Scout is the precocious daughter of Atticus Finch; even as a young girl, she rejects the "feminine" attributes that her small Southern town of Maycomb attempts to push on her, much preferring to embrace her tomboyishness and to keep the company of her older brother Jem and neighborhood friend Charles Baker "Dill" Harris.

Although Scout begins the novel with an inherent sense of trust in the goodness of mankind and in the people of Maycomb, she finds her beliefs challenged by the evils that she witnesses--namely the unfair and racist prosecution of Tom Robinson. This event proves to be critical in shaping the growth of Scout as a narrator and her conscience as a girl finding her way into adulthood. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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