How does Scout change throughout To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Much of Harper Lee’s novel traces Jean Louise “Scout” Finch’s maturing. Although she is still a pre-adolescent girl at the end, her perspectives on her family, community, and society have changed considerably. There are three main important areas in which she changes. First, Scout starts to grow into her own intelligence. In her small family, before starting school, Scout has held her own with her older brother in part because she is very smart. Learning to moderate her behavior—basically, not to be a show-off—is one of the hardest lessons she masters. Another key area of change is starting to understand the gender dynamics of her society. Scout is initially scornful of females and prefers male society. Having her aunt live with them and seeing how she interacts with other adult women helps Scout see that the “ladies” have their own power.

The most important area in which Scout changes is in understanding how deeply divided her society is. She had become so accustomed to...

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