How does Scout’s limited understanding of the events in chapter 15 affect the reader?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Given the fact that Scout narrates the story in retrospect, the reader perceives events, characters, and situations from her naive point of view. In chapter 15, Scout runs into the middle of a lynch mob that intends to harm her father in order to murder Tom Robinson. Once Scout enters the group of men, she searches for a familiar face and attempts to have a casual conversation with Walter Cunningham. Scout is unaware of the dangerous situation she has entered and does not grasp the gravity of the situation.

Scout's limited understanding of the situation emphasizes her naive point of view and childish innocence. Her perspective gives the reader a rare look at how a child would perceive such a menacing, dangerous circumstance. Scout's innocent reaction also creates sympathy for Atticus. The reader is aware of Scout's age and innocence and sympathizes with Atticus's difficult position. At this dramatic, intense moment in the novel, Atticus's primary concern is Scout, Jem, and Dill's well-being. Overall, the reader sympathizes with Scout and her father when she decides to run into the middle of a lynch mob in chapter 15.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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