How is Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird intelligent?

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Certainly this question is open to multiple interpretations, but I think one of the ways Scout could be considered intelligent is that she is very different from other children her age.  As a child, she isn't typical.  Her experience growing up in the home of a well-educated father, a black but respected housekeeper, and no mother, sets Scout up to be different from other children in the Jim Crow south.

Secondly, Scout has been taught to think by her father Atticus, who we all know is different from other adults in the town.  He teaches her to see things from other people's perspectives, to walk around in others' skin, and to consider things from other angles.  He taught her to read at a very young age, and speaks to her (and her brother) like they are adults.  He explains everything with as much honesty as he can, and doesn't shelter his children from reality and truth.

All of these things combine to create in Scout a sense of worldliness, experience, and intelligence that, although she has never left home, is on a level of someone much older with far more experience.


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