Name three reasons, using quotes from the novel, that display how Scout is discriminated against.

Expert Answers
gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Throughout the novel, Scout gets discriminated by various characters for many reasons. Scout is often discriminated because of her gender. Jem is constantly making negative remarks regarding her gender when Scout is acting like the stereotypical "girl." In Chapter 4, when Scout crashes the tire in the Radley yard and refuses to go back and retrieve it, Jem says, "Scout, sometimes you act so much like a girl it's mortifyin'." (Lee 50) Later on in the chapter, when Atticus questions the children about their "game," Scout tells Jem that she thinks Atticus knows they are depicting Boo Radley's life story. Scout says, "Jem told me I was being a girl, that girls always imagined things, that's why other people hated them so, and if I started behaving like one I could just go off and find some to play with." (Lee 54)

Scout also gets discriminated because she is the daughter of Atticus, who is the lawyer defending Tom Robinson. Racial prejudice is commonplace in 1930's Alabama, and Tom Robinson is an African American accused of raping a white woman. Many community members, like Mrs. Dubose, view the Finches with disdain because of Atticus' decision to defend a black man. Mrs. Dubose tells Scout, "Your father's no better than the niggers and trash he works for." (Lee 135) In school, Cecil Jacobs tells Scout, "My folks said your daddy was a disgrace an' that nigger oughta hang from the water-tank!" (Lee 102) Scout struggles to maintain her composure in the face of such derogatory remarks.

Scout also gets discriminated because of her rough, "tomboyish" lifestyle. Aunt Alexandra views Scout with contempt because of her "boyish" traits. Scout mentions that Alexandra said, "I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches." (Lee 108) Aunt Alexandra wants Scout to act like the prototypical Southern female who is interested in social gatherings.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question