How does Scouts Age and Gender make her Innocent? Is there an example that shows scout being brave?I need some help with this so i can write my essay without being confused. I dont have my book...

How does Scouts Age and Gender make her Innocent?

Is there an example that shows scout being brave?

I need some help with this so i can write my essay without being confused. I dont have my book with me, so i cant find and example.

Asked on by iamakid

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tmcquade | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Scout's age makes her innocent in that, as the book begins, she has not really experienced the true ugliness of the world, and her main concerns and fears (ie. Boo Radley, haints, and hot steams) are imagined.  She is still, as Jem later insightfully recognizes of his own earlier state, in a "cacoon." She spends her days playing games, acting out dramas, hanging out in her tree house, and "fussing" and making up stories with Jem and Dill.  Her evenings she spends reading with her father - this is the main way she feels close to him, allowing the reader to understand why she is so upset when Miss Caroline tells her she needs to stop reading with Atticus because he is teaching her "to read all wrong."

While Scout's gender does not really make her "innocent," the perception of girls as more frail, dainty, clean, and well-mannered contributed to a sense that girls were less sordid or troublesome than boys and therefore "pure" and "good" in character.  Since Scout rejects the stereotypical role of a girl in her society - instead choosing to wear overalls, play with boys, run around the neighborhood, get in fistfights, and even swear - Aunt Alexandra is critical of her and advises her that she should act more "like a sunbeam."  However, Atticus says "there (are) already enough enough sunbeams in the family" and to go on acting like she does. This helps to preserve her childllike innocence, as she is not forced to grow up too quickly.

As for Scout's bravery, we see it in small ways.  When she speaks up for Walter Cunnigham in the classroom to Miss Caroline, she shows some courage, as she does when she takes her punishment without crying.  She THINKS she shows courage when she fights Walter after this, but really, she just shows her temper.  The same can be said when she later fights Ceil Jacobs and Francis, though at least in the case of these two fights, she does it to stand up for her father.  She is very loyal to those she loves.

She shows this same loyalty later in front of the jailhouse.  After Atticus tells Jem to go home and Jem refuses, another man grabs Jem and says, "I'll send him home."  Scout immediately comes to Jem's defense, yelling, "Don't you touch him," then kicks the man. Her later act of talking to Mr. Cunnigham might seem brave, but she really doesn't know what she is doing at the time and doesn't grasp the event's significance until later.  She also shows courage when, at the end, she walks Boo Radley home and treats him like a gentleman in case any other neighbors are watching, showing she has conquered all her earlier fears of "the grey ghost" that haunted her childhood.

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