Scout and Atticus Finch are two of the main characters throughout the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Both characters have a tremendous influence on others and play significant roles throughout the novel. Scout, Atticus' daughter, has influence over her brother, friends, and adults living in the community of Maycomb. Scout influences her friend Dill by encouraging him to tell the truth and express his feelings about his home life. Dill opens up to Scout about his issues, and when Scout takes him outside of the courthouse, both characters learn an important lesson about prejudice from Dolphus Raymond. Scout also influences Jem's character throughout the novel. Jem educates Scout and serves as her caretaker. Jem discusses his feelings about humanity and shares his perspective on Maycomb's community members with her. Scout also influences Walter Cunningham during the mob scene by making him aware of his actions when she attempts to have a conversation with him. Scout influences her Uncle Jack by teaching him a lesson on how to speak with children and is the reason why Aunt Alexandra has moved in with the family. Scout's "tomboy" persona influences Alexandra to teach her how to become a proper Southern Bell. Scout influences the character of Boo Radley throughout the novel by entertaining him and encouraging him to form relationships by communicating via gifts in the knothole of the tree. At the end of the novel, Boo Radley leaves his home to save Scout and Jem, which allows him the opportunity to interact with the children.
Atticus predominately influences his children by teaching them important life lessons which advance their moral development and understanding. Scout learns how to gain perspective on situations and how to compromise from listening to Atticus. Atticus also teaches his children lessons in courage and morality. One of the underlying themes throughout the novel is how to treat innocent beings. Atticus teaches his children that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. Atticus also influences the character of Tom Robinson by choosing to defend him during his trial. Atticus influences the way in which community members view racial issues and is the catalyst for social change in Maycomb County throughout the novel.