For a child of her age, Scout Finch show an exceptional amount of courage. She is the first one to stand up to her teacher and try to explain that the Cunninghams don't like to take charity. She confronts Mr. Cunningham when he is in the midst of the lynch mob that is threatening Atticus and Tom Robinson. She even kicks another of the men in the mob (aiming for his shin but actually connecting rather higher). That said, though, there are times when Scout lacks moral courage. This is not surprising, considering her age, and it makes her a relatable character, one that we can connect with and understand.
Scout's greatest lack of courage surrounds Boo Radley. Boo is the local recluse, and Scout is terrified of him. Of course, she is far more terrified of the picture of Boo Radley she has created in her mind than of the real person. To Scout, through, Boo Radley is a dangerous man who could hurt her, and she doesn't even like to walk past his house for fear that he will jump out at her. When she accidentally rolls into the Radley yard in a tire, she is so frightened that she runs back to safety without the tire, and Jem has to go get it. Scout's fear is real, even if it is unfounded.
Scout also lacks courage when it comes to going to school (at least until Atticus intervenes). Scout is excited to start first grade, but her first day does not go well. Her teacher actually scolds her for being able to read and tells her that her father must stop teaching her, for he is doing it all wrong. This shakes Scout's confidence. She has been reading for as long as she can remember, and she does it very well. She cannot understand why her teacher doesn't want her to read anymore, and she certainly doesn't want to give up her evening reading sessions with Atticus. The
prospect of spending nine months refraining from reading and writing made me think of running away,
she remarks. That evening, Scout tells her father that she doesn't want to go to school any more. She doesn't think she can face another day. Atticus helps her by making a bargain. They will continue reading if she goes back to school and doesn't tell her teacher. Scout's courage rises with the help of her father.
Finally, Scout shows a lack of moral courage when she fails to control her temper and gets into fights. She just cannot stomach insults, so she lashes out. Atticus tells her that she is getting too old for such things, and she tries to stop. Sometimes she is successful, but sometimes she fails mightily, as she does when her cousin Francis insults Atticus one too many times. Scout forgets her good intentions, hauls off, and hits Francis right in the mouth. She gives in to her temper yet again, and her moral courage gives way to her anger.