How does Scout change throughout To Kill a Mockingbird?

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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One of the major struggles that Scout faces is the expectation that she be more "ladylike." Aunt Alexandra has come to stay with the Finch family in order to help her seeing as how she doesn't have a mother to help her with it. This part of Scout remains largely unchanged but what Scout realizes is that she has good reasons for not just giving in to the way her family or society wants her to act. She starts to connect her unwillingness to change (about some things) with a sense of right and wrong and her willingness to stand up for them.

She also changes in the way that she views certain people. At first, she looks down on the Cunninghams in a way that Atticus helps her understand is wrong. He might pour syrup all over his food but he is a hard-working, decent young man who comes from a family filled with those traits. She begins to see how important it is to withhold judgment until such time as there is sufficient material with which to judge. This same process occurs with her relationship with Boo Radley as it goes from considering him a fantasy to actually communicating with him through their odd exchanges to him saving her life from Bob Ewell.

Scout also learns a great deal from watching her father defend Tom Robinson and seeing how different people in the town react to the trial and the verdict. She loses some of her innocence as she sees people she respects making judgments that are clearly wrong in her eyes.

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