In "To Kill a Mockingbird," how is Scout's personality at the beginning different from her personalty at the end?

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katemschultz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"To Kill a Mockingbird" is often seen as a coming-of-age novel for both Jem and Scout, but more specifically Scout since the reader experiences the events through her eyes. At the beginning of the novel, Scout is a tom boy, who's world is seen in black and white: things either are or aren't, people are either good or bad, things are either right or wrong. She is superstitious and still holds on to a great deal of her childhood--think of the Boo Radley games and the gifts in the knot hole.

By the end of the novel, Scout had grown up with the help of Atticus, Calpurnia, Miss Maudie, Jem and her witness of the Tom Robinson trial. She begins to understand that there are shade of gray in the world: rules can be broken in special circumstances (the Ewells and their hunting), good people can do bad things (Mr. Walter Cunningham and the mob), bad things happen to good people (Atticus, Tom Robinson and the trial), the world can be full of mean and hateful people (Bob Ewell), and things aren't always what they seem (Boo Radley.) Scout also learns the value of empathy, or as Atticus says, "walking around in someone else's skin." She does this at the end of the novel, standing on the Radely porch and reminiscing about the events of the past years.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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