How do other characters view Scout in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In To Kill a Mockingbird, although Scout Finch has not known a mother, she has a very devoted and loving father. Her brother, typically, is annoyed with her at times, but he often demonstrates that he cares for her, as well.

Since family members have been discussed in the above post, this response will be directed toward the other characters:

--Miss Caroline Fisher 

Miss Caroline responds negatively to Scout, telling her to discontinue her reading lessons with her father and rejecting her efforts to offer some knowledge of the social conditions of Maycomb.

--Miss Maudie

The childless Miss Maudie treats Scout and her brother as a loving grandmother would, making cakes and treats for them and allowing them to play in her yard. Fiercely loyal to Atticus, Miss Maudie often comes to his and his children's defense, and she always comforts them in times of conflict. In one example of this loyalty to the Finches, Miss Maudie stings the sanctimonious hypocrite Mrs. Merriweather, who expounds upon the "ungrateful" nature of the black residents of Maycomb shortly after having extended charitable words about Africans thousands of miles away. Mrs. Merriweather criticizes Atticus (who she carefully does not name directly) for having stirred up the resentment of the black community. When Miss Maudie asks Mrs. Merriweather if she's choking on Atticus's food (Mrs. Merriweather is criticizing Atticus in his own house while eating his food), Mrs. Merriweather says, "Maudie, I'm sure I don't know what you mean." Miss Maudie quickly retorts, "I'm sure you do."

--Mrs. Dubose

In contrast to Miss Maudie, the vituperative Mrs. Dubose criticizes Jem and Scout whenever given the opportunity. Not understanding that the old lady is battling a morphine addiction, Jem and Scout hate her because she criticizes Atticus and disparages Scout, saying that because the girl does not wear dresses and act appropriately, she will never amount to anything and will just wait on tables at a cheap restaurant. 

--Calpurnia

Although Scout does not always think so, Calpurnia, who often acts a substitute mother, loves Scout. When, for example, Scout comes home from her first day at school, Calpurnia hugs her and tells her how much she has missed her during the day. When Jem and Scout accompany her to church, Calpurnia defends the children fiercely against the antagonism of Lula, who questions their being in a black church. Often Calpurnia acts as a parent, reprimanding Scout for her rudeness toward Walter Cunningham and protecting her from rabid dogs and other threats.

--Charles "Dill" Harris

The diminutive but imaginative Dill is Scout's first "boyfriend." They promise to marry. For several years the two children are very close and share in their creative exploits. When Dill's parents neglect him, he runs away from home to hide in Scout's bedroom.

--Miss Stephanie Crawford

Known as the neighborhood gossip, Miss Stephanie teases Scout at the Missionary Tea. At one point, she calls across the room to ask Scout what she wants to be when she grows up. Scout feels grateful for a change of subject after the ladies have just laughed at her for saying that she has her britches under her dress. However, she is humiliated when Miss Stephanie then jokes,

"I thought you wanted to be a lawyer, you've already commenced going to court."

All the ladies but Miss Maudie again laugh at Scout.

--Bob Ewell

No one is crueler to Scout than this nefarious man. In his thirst for revenge against Atticus Finch, Ewell attacks Scout and Jem with murderous intentions.

mrwickline eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout’s father, Atticus, shows affection and understanding toward his daughter throughout the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”. He is all too familiar with her quick temper and propensity to cause trouble, but Atticus is patient with his daughter and tries his best to explain complicated issues easily to her. Scout’s aunt, Alexandra, views her with contempt based on her tomboyish nature, which contrasts with Maycomb County’s stereotypical girl behavior. Scout says, “Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches.” Scout’s older brother, Jem, views her as inferior because she four years younger, and is a female. Jem plays the role of caretaker and goes through phases of hanging out with Scout. Calpurnia, the Finch’s housekeeper, views Scout as an immature, naïve little girl. Calpurnia plays the role of mother toward Scout and takes care of her throughout the novel. Dill views Scout as a friend with a fun imagination. Uncle Jack treats Scout with respect and views her as a loving child. Bob Ewell views Scout as the little girl whose father embarrassed him and tried to ruin his life.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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