In "To Kill A Mockingbird", how did Scout get in trouble at Christmas time?

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The family goes to Finches Landing for Christmas dinner.  From the moment they arrived Scout's cousin, Francis, got on Scout's nerves.  "Talking to Francis gave me the sensation of settling slowly to the bottom of the ocean." After dinner Francis begins to insult Dill and Scout begins getting angry, but she controls her behavior, trying not to fight.  Then Dill calls Atticus a "nigger-lover," and Scout can't take anymore.  She goes after him and chases him to the kitchen.  When Aunt Alexandra asks where he is Scout tells her, "He's out yonder in the kitchen."  Francis blames Scout and one thing leads to another.  Uncle Jack asks who started the fight, and Francis tells them that Scout called him a "whore-lady and jumped on me." Uncle Jack whips Scout without letting her explain what happened.  Later he discovers, and apologizes to Scout.

mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout and her family go to Finch's landing, to spend Christmas with Aunt Alexandra, and unfortunately, Francis, who Scout describes as "the most boring child I had ever met."  But, Francis gets a little bit intense when he calls Atticus "a nigger-lover" and that "he's ruin' the family, that's what he's doin'".  So, Scout defends her dad's honor by giving him a good punch that "split my knuckle to the bone on his front teeth."  She continues to punch him until Uncle Jack stops her.

Defending her father's honor might seem like a good thing, but Atticus had strictly forbid her to fight anyone who said anything about him.  She had done really well, until good ol' Francis came along. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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