To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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What are examples of indirect and direct characterizations of Scout Finch in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Julianne Hansen, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Based on the definitions provided by the other educators, you are going to find many more examples of indirect characterization in this novel because Scout is the narrator. Since the conflict is narrated by her, it's a little more difficult for the author to craft places where the narrator directly speaks about herself. (Example: "I am a precocious child.") It just typically doesn't fall naturally into conversation or thoughts. So most of the direct characterization will come in places where other people talk about Scout to Scout—which is a little harder to find. However, since Scout is the narrator, there are plenty of places where we learn about her indirectly through her responses to others.

Direct Characterization:

Scout's family has more money than some, and she's still trying to determine how that influences people: When Jem invites Walter Cunningham home to eat with them after Scout has tried to beat him up, Scout criticizes Walter's heavy use of syrup on his food. Calpurnia is infuriated...

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