To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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How is Scout Finch courageous in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One could argue that Scout shows courage in refusing to take any nonsense from anyone. A prime example occurs when her cousin Francis starts saying unpleasant things about Atticus. Whatever Aunt Alexandra might want her to be, Scout's not a sweet, demure little lady who'll ignore such slights against her father's character. Instead, she attacks Francis and gives him a good hiding.

Now this is not to say that Scout's behavior is in any way acceptable. It most certainly is not. However, one can still admire the courage that Scout displays in defending her father's honor against an outrageous slur. Though the manner in which she chooses to defend Atticus may be unacceptable, there's no doubt that Scout's heart is in the right place.

In such a situation it takes an awful lot of courage to stand up and be counted, though if Scout had refrained from resorting to fisticuffs to make her point, her courage would've been even more admirable. As it is, we can deplore Scout's actions while still...

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decent444 | Student

Scout's most courageous act in To Kill a Mockingbird comes in Chapter 15 when she and Jem arrive at the jail while Atticus is confronting the lynch mob. Scout senses that something is wrong, but she doesn't really understand the implications of the gathering until the next day. Her innocent banter with Walter Cunningham shames him, and he directs the other men to "Let's get going."

Scout shows courage when she stands up for Walter Cunningham Jr. on her first day of school. She tries to explain why Walter has no lunch money, but she instead gets in trouble with Miss Caroline. She shows courage when she accompanies Jem and Scout into the Radley's back yard, and she shows her speed when she runs back to safety after Boo's shadow appears on the porch. She shows courage (or is it her foolish hot temper?) each and every time she fights a boy in the schoolyard, and her bravery is evident when she runs to the sound of Jem's screams during the attack by Bob Ewell