To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How does Scout change from the beginning to the end of the book, and why?

Expert Answers info

anthonda49 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write417 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Math

At the beginning of To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout is a little girl with (no pun intended) black and white perceptions of life. Either things are right and fair or wrong and unfair. She has little perception of how others think and react. Although she is bright for such a young child, she has to "walk around in another's person's skin" to understand how they perceive things. Atticus works on developing this perception, but it will come with maturity and experience. Her natural innocence is what makes her the beloved character in the book. Her reaction to her first grade teacher's offering Walter Cunningham 25 cents for lunch shows her lack of insight into how others think as does her reaction to Walter dumping molasses all over his food. She is a quick learner from these experiences.

Toward the end of the book, Scout is learning about becoming a "girl" and is more tolerant of the process. She spends much time with Miss Maudie and absorbs the role she must assume. Her affection toward Boo Radley after he rescues Scout and Jem shows her increasing maturity in accepting people as they are and not building up a mystique based on rumor and innuendo. With the outcome of Tom Robinson's trial, she learns that right does not always triumph no matter how hard others work to achieve it. It is a tough lesson that even many adults still cannot perceive.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial