How does Scout show her innocence?

A striking example of Scout showing her innocence and not fully grasping the situation is the scene at the jailhouse. After Scout trails along with Jem uninvited, a mob of men pull up to the jail, bent on lynching Tom Robinson. Scout doesn't understand the men's true intentions, and she acts as if they were all gathered at a community event. Scout’s innocent reaction helps dispel the tension and leads Mr. Cunningham to tell the men to leave.

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Scout shows her innocence at many points in the novel, and especially in moments when she does not fully grasp the meaning of certain situations. Perhaps the most striking example is the scene at the jailhouse. Jem decides to go down to the jail to check on Atticus and make...

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Scout shows her innocence at many points in the novel, and especially in moments when she does not fully grasp the meaning of certain situations. Perhaps the most striking example is the scene at the jailhouse. Jem decides to go down to the jail to check on Atticus and make sure he is alright. Jem is older than Scout, and he probably senses that with the racial divide and tension around Tom’s trial, there could be trouble. He wants to be there to help his father, but he does not explain any of this to Scout.

Scout, as she often does, accompanies her older brother, trailing along with him uninvited. Once they arrive at the jail, they see Atticus sitting outside. He has pushed a desk chair from his office into the street so that he can remain in close proximity to where Tom is being held. When several cars pull up to the jail, full of men who seem bent on lynching Tom, Jem apparently senses Atticus tense up. However, Scout shows her innocence because she is oblivious to the true nature of the situation and to the true intentions of the men who approach the jail in the middle of the night. Scout treats the gathering almost as if it were a group of parents after a school play or outside church after services. She introduces herself to Mr. Cunningham as a school friend of his son. Scout’s innocence is a key factor that helps to diffuse the tension in this scene, and her unintentional intervention leads Mr. Cunningham to tell the men to go home.

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