How would one describe Scout in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird in terms of appearance, favorite hobbies, important actions, treatment of others, beliefs, etc.?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, two of Scout's most important attributes are her rebelliousness and her intelligence.

Her rebelliousness is especially characterized in her preferences to wear "breeches," something she constantly battles with Aunt Alexandra about, who insists that Scout should learn to behave like a lady, as we see in the following passage:

Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches; when I said I could do nothing in a dress, she said I wasn't supposed to be doing things that required pants. (Ch. 9)

Wearing pants, Scout did boyish things such as play with her brother and Dill and even get into physical fist fights. Yet, her independent, rebellious side isn't such a bad thing. It is due to her independence and rebelliousness that she is able to share her father's view of Tom Robinson's innocence and her father's anti-racist, non-prejudicial views in general.

Her intelligence further helps her see the world through her own eyes rather than through the eyes of the racist world. Her intelligence is especially characterized in her ability to read from a very early age. As Scout explains in her narration in the second chapter, reading just came naturally to her, and she couldn't remember a time when she could not do it. She essentially taught herself to read while curled up in her father's lap at night looking at things he was reading. Her love for her hobby of reading is particularly expressed when she states, "Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."

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