In To Kill a Mockingbird, how do Scout's morals change in Chapters 1-12?

Expert Answers
readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As early as chapter three, Scout begins to learn the lesson of seeing things from another's perspective.  She learns this lesson from Atticus after a horrible day at school, where she got in trouble even though she tried her best to be helpful.  Atticus uses Scout's discouragement to teach her a lesson about understanding people.  He wants her to understand Miss Caroline. He says:

“First of all,” he said, “if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view—”

“Sir?”

“—until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

It takes time, but by the end of chapter twelve, Scout is beginning to learn this lesson.  For example, she makes peace with Walter Cunningham. 

Another important lesson is to protect mockingbirds. In chapter ten, Scout relearns this lesson from Miss Maudie.  Miss Maudie says:

“Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question